Refreshing Night Time Routine

I loooove night time! Day time is a time to get things done but night time is my absolute favorite because it’s my “me” time.

It’s a time I can retreat into my bedroom, turn on my diffuser, and light up my Himalayan salt lamp.

Before I hop into my cozy sheets for some Facebook scrolling, Pinterest pursuing, and Netflix binge I take a shower and wash my face.

Refreshing Night Time Routine

It’s strange to say but washing my face at night makes my day feel complete. I can only use Lush products because they don’t break out my super sensitive skin.

I couldn’t take bubble baths until I discovered their bubble bars (Bewitched & French Kiss are my two favorites).

Why A Night Time Routine?

For me it’s a time to help me wind down from the day. To let go of all the stress I’ve been carrying around for the day. A time to be myself, listen to my thoughts and sort them out, have a cup of lemon tea and rewatch an episode of Gilmore Girls for the 1000th time.

These three products are my go to’s for my nightly skin care routine. They make my face feel so fresh, soft, and clean.

Angels on bare skin – is a gently-exfoliating cleanser with a light herbal-lavender scent that balances both oil and dryness to leave your skin feeling soft, supple and comfortably clean.

Breathe of fresh air – gives dry skin a little pick me up with soothing aloe vera and rose spritzer with hints of cleansing rosemary and mineral-rich sea water.

Cosmetic lad – not only for the lads, but it works well to combat the irritation and redness that can follow regular shaving. Soothing ingredients make it ideal for all sensitive skin types.

Refreshing Night Time Routine

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By the way, none of these links are affiliated. I’m not an affiliate of Lush, I just love their products and wanted you to check them out for yourself if you’re interested.

Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Every week for the last few months I’ve been making the guy I’m seeing a high protein meal plan, as he’d like to gain a little weight.

I like finding easy recipes but ones that’ll help him add protein and try to get as many calories as I can find.

I came across this recipe and decided to try my hand at it.

Why use protein powder?

By replacing the all the flour In this recipe with protein powder and the recipe still works nicely.

However, when replacing flour for protein powder, start with replacing 1/3 cup of protein powder for every 1 cup of flour in the recipe.

What did he think?

Peanut butter protein bars for the win! He loved them and let a few people at his work sample the extra one I sent with him everyday just for them.

I used a vanilla birthday cake protein powder as something a little different.

It may sound weird but these almost didn’t make it through the week with the rest of his lunch.
Peanut Butter Protein Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups large flake oats use gluten-free if necessary
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I used vanilla birthday cake)
  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk or a little more if the mixture still seems dry. You want it to be slightly sticky so that it all binds together
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the oats and vanilla protein powder. Next, add the peanut butter, almond milk, and maple syrup, if desired. Stir until well combined and slightly sticky. The mixture should bind together but not be gooey.
  2. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and press the mixture into the pan with a spatula until equally distributed. Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from freezer and cut the mixture into 8 equal-sized bars using a sharp knife. You may need to allow mixture to thaw out for a few minutes before you can cut through the bars.
    Peanut butter protein bars
  4. Place each bar in a little Ziploc bag or saran wrap and store in fridge or freezer.

These freeze great and they aren’t gooey or dry at all. They’re the perfect consistency to stay in a bag or lunch box all day.

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe and decide to make them yourselves.

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They might be good with a few other add ins like chocolate chips, cranberries, or raisins if you’re not one for protein powders.

He says they are a great snack in the way to work, as he works an hour away. He wakes up at 5:30 and who wants to cook breakfast then? Ugh, not me! Hah.

you just feel better with a little something in your stomach in the morning, these are a great alternative to something heavy.

Chocolate Strawberry Boxes

Over the weekend on Sunday it was raining but I was craving something sweet. Strawberry and chocolate sweet!

I’d saved a recipe (I can’t remember what website it was on because I’d saved the ingredients and “how-to” in my phone notes) and wanted to give it a try for a few months now.

I love the combination of strawberries and chocolate.

I dipped the left over strawberries in chocolate to save as an extra treat.

The boxes held up well, we’re tasty, and worked out perfect in the fridge.

Chocolate

I like that this recipe is so verities because you can add any kind of add in you’d like, some suggestions are peanuts, almonds, strawberry jam, caramel, you name it! Whatever you like in your chocolate will be tasty.

The recipe was a hit as the guy I’m seeing has taken one to work with him to work this week and has asked to take the others for the rest of the week.

I did learn a few tricks. I used a huge ice tray for this one. It was tricky because i had to make sure the sides were coated enough which left a lot of chocolate at the top.

The thick chocolate on top makes these yummies a little hard to crack open but not impossible. My tip is to make sure the bottom is lightly coated.

Another thing is with the ice tray and with the chocolate hardened I couldn’t really “twist” the chocolates loose.

I used a butter knife to loose the edges that were back to back and popped them out of the silicon tray.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Melted chocolate Your choice of dark, milk or white
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries

Chocolate strawberry boxes

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments and use a paintbrush to paint chocolate in each cavity of an ice cube tray. Freeze this tray for 20 minutes.
    Chocolate strawberry boxes
  2. Remove the tray from the freezer and fill it with your choice of add-ins.

Chocolate strawberry boxes

  1. Pour spoonfuls of chocolate on top of your add-ins and freeze this tray again for another 20 minutes.
  2. Turn the tray onto a sheet of wax paper and tap it a bit until the chocolate cubes come out. And you are done.

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So easy! I was surprised as of how fast everything went. In almost an hour these beauties were ready to eat.

Chocolate Strawberry Boxes

I will be making these again with a few tweaks to see if I can get a good too layer.

what’s your favorite chocolate recipe?? I’d love to give it a try, leave the link in the comments or send me an email with the recipe I’d love to hear from y’all.

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

There is a show on The Cooking channel which I love watching but anyway, the show is called “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”. I can’t pick just one though. I’ve been eating for 30 years and I have so many favorite!

The best thing I ever ate
If these photos don’t make you drool even just a little then you’re not living your life right, I’m just kidding – I know you love your life. I hope you love your life because you only get one of them. Anyway, enough motivation because that is for another post. However you can visit “My Guide To Confidence In 6 steps” if you need a little self love at this very moment, or you can pin this post and come back when you have time to read it through.

The mocha pudding from a place at Carolina Beach that I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the restaurant. Look at it though, how can you not want to grab a spoon and devour it?! The mocha and the caramel are made for each other when it comes to this dessert.

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Chocolate Lasagna & Zeppoli from Olive Garden, don’t knock it until you try it! It’s so rich and the cream choose brings together the chocolate mousse and the thin chocolate layers of cake. There are shavings a top the lasagna to top it off and it makes it so pretty but you can’t wait to dig in. You can definitely share it with someone else became it is a little on the rich side.

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Roscoto wine is my favourite! It’s a sweet wine that pairs well with desserts so a glass or two with the chocolate lasagna. You can get Rosocto ate Total Wine, trust me if you like a sweet red wine then you’ll want to be all over this!
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Not Your Mama’s Banana a Pudding is absolutely amazing! When I first tasted it my mother and were in Savanah, the first time checking out the scenery and doing the tourist thing we decided we wanted to see what the hype was about Paula Dean’s restaurant. I found the recipe from The Food Network and I fell in love as well as every event I’ve taken it to.

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I hope this post has satisfied your sweet teeth in a very cyber way, if that’s a thing. I hope you stick around because I may keep up and add on top this post as I find new favorites.

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What is one of your favorite foods that you can’t wait to shovel into your mouth?

August Goals: I’m Coming For You August

May-July goals were a complete bust with the lock down, social distancing, and masks. So I’m not even going to try and report those, as there wouldn’t be hardly any thing there to write.

With a little more lenience I can deal with wearing the mask (I got really cute ones from Ken and I love them, you can even get a filter! I picked up this one and this one, so cute!

I’d like to do a little more traveling around local or near to local places but the friend and I are spontaneous so I have no idea when or where we are going. We have had a few adventures like trail rides & rock crawling plus a grueling hiking trip to Catawba Falls waterfall.

August Goals: I’m Coming For You

Miles: To hold myself accountable I want to track at least 10 miles (it’s in the triple digits here and all I’ve got is my neighborhood since the gyms aren’t open. I’m hoping to break that 10 mile mark though

August goals

Books: I hope to read at least one book this month. With all this free time you’d think I’d use it more wisely – I’ve watched a lot of I.D Network & Dr. Phil. I’ve got about 2 books I want to knock out by at least October.

Yoga: I’ve done a little but not as much as I should. I want to practice everyday and it’s not like it’s hard. I’ve just fallen out of practice, maybe explains why I’ve been so moody lately 🤔

Self care: I did get a manicure and a pedicure 2 weeks ago with my best friends whom we haven’t seen in months. With this pandemic it’s been hard to get out to do anything plus the salons were closed. I haven’t even taken a bath with a bubble bar in a few weeks, I’m running low on bubble bars but don’t want to hit up the mall and be around a bunch of people.

Mental health: This is one that’s really taken a hit! My bipolar triggers are through the rough so I have rough days instead of one or two days. Some days I’m so anxious I feel like I’m crawling out of my own skin while other days I’m so depressed I can barely get out of bed (would explain the lack of blog posts).

August goals

Social media/blog: I really would like to build my following, I’d love to make money from this blog one day. After I get back into the swing of things I’m going to offer sponsors for $5 a month, I’d love to have you! More info on that as it gets closer.

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There you have it, my goals I’ll be setting out to accomplish given in this pandemic no one really knows.

I just want to get your perspective as a reader on a few things though:

  1. How’ve you been during this entire thing?
  2. What are the blogging secrets you use?
  3. What would you like to see on Balanced Mochas?

Chasing waterfalls

I know TLC told us not to go chasing waterfalls but but but.. they’re so beautiful!

Last week there was a few adventures, a friend and I had a few days off so we decided to make the most of those days.

We packed our bags and headed 4 hours to Asheville in the western North Carolina Blue Ridge mountains.

Chasing waterfalls: Beautiful Waterfalls Of NC

I love Asheville, it’s such a vibrant city. There are trading companies, chocolatiers, old factories that house local artists, historical architecture, and the beautiful Biltmore Estate (very intriguing couple with an 800 acre estate).

These waterfalls are gorgeous but the photos don’t do them justice. I’ve decided to break them up into two different posts as there is a lot to be said about each beautiful fall.

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First up we have Catawba Falls, which is my favorite!  Catawba Falls consists of two different falls but is one collective fall. There is a hike up to a second waterfall at the top of the mountain.

The 100 foot tall Catawba falls is located 26 miles East of Asheville. In 2012 the U.S. Forest Service opened a parking lot for hiking the waterfall trail in Pisgah National Forest.

There is a footbridge so no rock hoping is required to access the waterfalls allowing visitors to enjoy the falls even when the water is high.

There is a dam and stone fountain that was used as a power generator in the 1900’s but from the trail you can see a waterfall as well as the dam.

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Upper Falls of Catawba

The hike is not for the faint of heart though. The hike to the top is only about 2 miles but you use 3 points of contact (both hands and at least one foot engaged on a root, rock, mountain side or anything you can grab onto to keep you from falling) pretty much the entire time. This falls is very dangerous if you’re not a skilled climber or hiker.

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The trail leads to the 100ft lower falls, with many spots to rest and take photos of the lower falls from different angles and points of views.

This trail is only half a mile but it’ll kick your butt as there are step rocks, slippery mud, narrow trails, this beast wall, and not to mention completely uphill the entire way in high altitude.

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I got a little road rash myself, it happens when your sliding down a narrow trail in fear for every bone in your body, ya know it happens?

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Once you’ve reached the upper waterfall after a strenuous hike (with a few cuss words sprinkled about) you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

The water is so cold, pure, and crisp when it touches your skin it sends chills down your spine. Once you get use to the coldness of the serene water pooling from the rushing falls above you’ll enjoy yourself.

We took a little time to enjoy the scenery, take in the smells of nature, and even splash around. We built a few rock structures that we were proud of too.

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I decided to take a breather so I sat my butt i front of this huge boulder rock for a bit. A friend decided he was going to Jenga our rock formations while I relaxed. I saw something slithering out of the corner of my eye to turn around to see a snake swimming 4 inches away from me! I’m deathly terrified of snakes, point blank, end of story!

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After shaking and trying to catch my breath for What seemed like forever I finally got it all together, however I didn’t see where the snake went so I didn’t get back in the water on that side.

 

We had a lot of fun and slept great that night. If you find yourself in Asheville, at least check out the lower falls unless you’re an experienced hiker then definitely check out the upper falls.