Classic Acai Bowl Recipe

Even though we are a couple of weeks into September which means Fall is upon us, I am not ready to accept that Summer is over. Especially because I am not ready to give up my favorite summer food – acai bowls. I had my first acai bowl when I lived in Cleveland, Ohio at Restore Cold Pressed. If you live in the greater Cleveland area and have not been there yet, I highly recommend you go. Their juice and acai bowls are amazing!! I’m drooling just thinking about them.

Being new to Raleigh, I have not yet found my go to juice bar that has acai bowls. I’m still on the look out though (suggestions welcomed). In the meantime, I have resorted to making my own.
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Classic Acai Bowl

What You’ll Need:
Takes 5 minutes, serves 1 person.

  • 2 packets of Sambazon frozen acai – I typically buy mine from Earth Fare, but I have also seen them at Whole Foods.
  • 1/4 cup (or less if you like it thicker) unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds – I always add them into my mix but you can add them on top too!
  • 1 frozen banana
  • fresh berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc. your choice)
  • 1/4 cup granola of your choice (note: I used homemade granola)
  • 2 tbsps almond butter

How It’s Made:

  1. Run acai packets under hot water for 5 seconds.
  2. Empty both acai packets in a blender.
  3. Add 1 frozen banana to the blender.
  4. Add 1/4 cup (or less) of almond milk to the blender.
    1. I like mine thicker, so I add less almond milk at first and then continue to add little by little until it’s at my deserved thickness, so it does not get too thin.
  5. Add 1 tbsp of chia seeds to the blender.
  6. Blend ingredients together until smooth.
  7. Pour acai mixture into a bowl.
  8. Top with granola, fresh berries, and almond butter. Other topping suggestions – fresh banana, coconut flakes, nuts, and peanut butter.

Give it a try and let me know what toppings you added to your bowl in the comments!

Want to add this recipe to your recipe book? Download the recipe card here.

Ky

How to Get Designer Jewelry Delivered To Your Door Every Month

New designer jewelry delivered to your door every month? It’s a girls dream! At least it’s this girls dream. For me, an outfit is not complete without a few great accessories, so when I heard about Rocksbox, a monthly subscription program that gives you unlimited access to rent designer jewelry, I had to check it out. The subscription box business model is pretty simple. Once you become a member of Rocksbox, you set up a profile on the website and take a quick style survey to help the stylists get to know your style.  Once your survey is complete your stylist will send you your first Rocksbox! Each box consists of 3 pieces of designer jewelry from designers such as Kendra Scott, Loren Hope, Wanderlust + Co, and much more. You can keep the pieces as long as you would like. When you are ready for new pieces, just send the pieces back in the return packaging they provide you and wait patiently until your next box arrives! As a Christmas baby who is used to only getting gifts in the month of December, I love getting to open my Rocksbox every month to something new.
Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace in Slate with a black dress

Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace in Slate

One of my favorite things about Rocksbox is the ability to customize your box for an upcoming event. A few months ago I was headed to a bachelorette party and needed to wear black and gold. The gold jewelry I own did not go great with the dress I was planning to wear. So I logged into my Rocksbox account, left a note for my stylist letting her know that I had a bachelorette party where I would be wearing a black dress so needed some gold jewelry to go with it. In my next box, I got 3 amazing gold pieces!

One of my favorite pieces, so much so that I decided to keep it, I received for the bachelorette party was the Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace in Slate. It was exactly what I was looking for to accent my black dress! The bachelorette party was just the start of the  events that were on my calendar for summer. With 6 weddings, I turned to Rocksbox to help me add some bling to my outfits.
If your outfit is not complete until you accessorize, I highly recommend Rocksbox! Use the code KYLEEBFF11 when you sign up and you will receive a free month trial. Still not sure, check out a few of my favorite designer pieces I have received so far!
Ky

 

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1 Year!

On this day one year ago, I sat in my downtown Cleveland apartment and launched byky! When I started, I wasn’t sure what I was doing. All I knew was that I was finally listening to that voice in the back of mind that kept telling me to start a blog. I put it off for so long because I was nervous. What would I write? Would people read my blog? So many questions and uncertainties. As I sit here reflecting on that day one year ago, I am so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone.

This past year has been a growth year for me. I became a wife, launched a blog, moved to a new state, started a new job, and made new friends.  At first, all the change was tough. But as tough as it was at times, this year has taught me a lot about myself. I feel like I finally came into my own.

To celebrate one year of lots of growth, I was only appropriate that byky grow with me. Welcome to the newly designed byky! I can’t wait to continue to grow byky and sharing my passions in life with you all! As always, thank you for the support.

Ky

 

Raleigh Recap

After a short hiatus, I’m back with an update on where I have been for the last few months. Short answer, I’ve been exploring a new state! At the start of 2016 Brandon and I packed up a truck and headed south to our new home in Raleigh, North Carolina. North Carolina has always been a dream of ours; both individually and together as a couple. So when the opportunity presented itself, we knew it was something we had to do.

It’s taken us some time but we are finally starting to feel settled in.  Now that we are, I finally feel like I can get back into the swing of everything byky and get you all up to speed on what we’ve been up to in Raleigh over the past few months.

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Our new place in North Carolina.

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Brandon’s new car!

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The family came to visit for Easter!

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Hosted Easter brunch at the new place!

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Brooke and Brandon during our hike through Umstead State Park!

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Dine & recline theater is our new favorite rainy weekend spot.

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Enjoying the back patio, sunset, wine and my amazing visitors, Kelsey & Maria!

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Kelsey, Maria and I at Raleigh Beer Garden in downtown Raleigh.

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June marked the resurrection of surprise monthly date nights! Stay tuned for details from each surprise date in Raleigh.

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Mid-morning runs in this heat are not recommended! These Ohioans are not used to it being 90 degrees by 10:00 am!

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Spent the day on top of houseboats and in the water at Falls Lake to escape the 100-degree heat!

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Having a community pool is the best! You’ll find us here each free weekend this summer!

It’s been a fun adventure so far! So stayed tuned to see more updates as Brandon and I continue to find what Raleigh has to offer🙂

Ky

Crockpot Shredded Salsa Chicken Recipe

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I have to say; this is one of the easiest meals I have ever made. If you have a crockpot, a few chicken breasts and a can of salsa, you are all set. This salsa chicken recipe has become my go-to when I want a good healthy meal, but I don’t feel like cooking. The chicken is juicy, has a ton of flavor and takes very little time to prepare. Next time you want a good meal but do not feel like spending the time to whip something up, pull out your crockpot and try out this Salsa Chicken recipe.

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can of salsa of your choosing (I usually use Newman’s Own Medium Chunky Salsa)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

How It’s Made:

  • Lightly grease the crockpot with cooking spray.
  • Place chicken breasts into the crockpot.
  • Pour the entire jar of salsa into the crockpot.
  • Mix up the salsa so that the chicken is completely coated.
  • Add in salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.
  • Use a fork to shred the chicken (it should shred easily).

Can’t think of a side to accompany the salsa chicken? Try stuffing a sweet potato with the chicken. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Enjoy!

Ky

Why Your Significant Other Should Not Be Your Only Valentine

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Valentine’s day is marketed as a day to express your love for your significant other. Many people dislike the holiday due to the fact that they may not have that special someone to celebrate with. I have always seen Valentine’s Day a little differently. Though I see it as a day that should be celebrated with your significant other, if you have one,  I also see it as a day that should be celebrated with anyone in your life that you love. This year spread the love beyond just one valentine!  Spend the day with your best friends, your parents, your grandparents, and your siblings. Your significant other isn’t the only one that you love so why should they be your only valentine? If you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend to share the day with, don’t dwell on that. You have plenty of other people in your life that you love and that love you! The day isn’t reserved for those in a romantic relationship. If you love someone, use this day to express that!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the beautiful people in my life! I love you all – you are all my valentines!

Muah!❤

Ky

How to Quickly Ripen an Avocado

Have you ever sent your husband to the grocery store to buy avocado and he comes back with ones that are hard as a rock? This happened to me over the weekend when I was trying to make Bacon Guacamole. Rather than sending him back to the store or to another grocery store to find more ripe avocado I decided to try to use the ones he brought home and hope for the best. As I tried to cut into the avocado I realized these avocados were not going to work. I remembered reading an article a while back that suggested putting fruit in a brown paper bag to assist in the ripening process. Unfortunately, that still takes a few days. I needed something that would help me ripen the avocado within a few hours. After a few minutes of research, I found an article that said I could ripen an avocado in 10-15 minutes!

I tried out the method from the article and it worked, however, not exactly how they described. Below is the step by step process I took in order to ripen my avocado before making my guacamole.

How It’s Done:

  1. Wrap the under-ripe avocado in aluminum foil
  2. Place wrapped avocados in a baking dish
  3. Set the oven to 200 degrees
  4. Bake the avocado for 15 mins
  5. Check the avocado after 15 minutes in the oven to see if they have become any softer. If not, repeat steps 4 and 5 until they seem to get softer. Be sure to check the avocados every 15 minutes so that you do not end up over-ripening the avocados.

The article I read said they would be ripe within 10-15 minutes of being in the oven. That was not the case for me. I ended up having to put them in the oven for a total of 60 minutes until they were ripe enough to make my guacamole.

Give this trick a try and let me know how it worked for you in the comments!

Ky

Bacon Guacamole Super Bowl Recipe

Last night, millions gathered around the TV to watch the Carolina Panthers take on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50. Peyton Manning led the Broncos to victory taking home the Super Bowl trophy and his 200th win. Von Miller, of the Broncos, may have received the MVP award for playing the game but in the Mathie household, the Bacon Guacamole took home the honor of MVP – Most Valuable “Plate”. Try it for yourself and see if it’s MVP worthy.

Bacon Guacamole

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 11/2  tablespoons of cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup of tomatoes (optional – I did not use)
  • 6 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Before You Start:

It’s very important that you have ripe avocados when making this recipe. To check if an avocado is ripe enough before you buy them, give the avocado a squeeze. If you feel the skin give a bit, then that avocado is ripe. If it doesn’t give, then that avocado is not yet ripe enough.

Another trick to picking out the perfect avocado is by looking at the stem. If you can’t peel off the stem easily, then the avocado is not yet ripe enough. If you can, and you see a green color under the stem, then that avocado is ripe. If you can peel off the stem, but there is a brown color underneath, then the avocado is overripe!

How It’s Made:

  1. Cut your raw bacon into small diced pieces

    • Tip: Try freezing the bacon before cooking or cutting it. Frozen bacon makes it easier to cut into small pieces and will also help reduce grease splatter when you go to cook it.

  2. Cook the bacon pieces until your desired crispiness

  3. Set the bacon aside

  4. Cut open the avocados, remove the pits and scoop the middles into a small bowl

  5. Mash avocados using a fork

  6. Add in seasonings and mix together

  7. Add in bacon and mix together

Your guacamole is complete – now grab come chips and dive into your dip!

Ky

Cinnamon Roll Cookie Recipe

Cinnamon rolls have always been a family favorite in the Kolesar household and usually paired with the holidays. This year I came across this recipe and thought it would be a perfect fit for our family holiday parties especially since we were doing more traveling this year. Try it out for yourself and see if the homemade cinnamon roll cookies can compare to the original cinnamon rolls.

What You’ll Need:

Vanilla Cookie Dough

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

 Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tbs heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
 * I ended up doubling the icing recipe because I love extra icing on my cinnamon rolls🙂

How It’s Made:

In a medium bowl, beat butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour and mix until it is combined into dough. Take the dough out of the bowl, pat into a large ball and flatten. Wrap flattened dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes or until well chilled.

 In a small bowl, begin making the filling. Whisk 1 egg white and water together in a small bowl until foamy, set aside. In another small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and cinnamon, set aside. On a thoroughly floured surface, roll the chilled dough out into a 9×12″ rectangle. Brush the egg white and water mixture over dough. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on top evenly. Roll the dough into a long log very carefully and tight. Seal the edge with some of the egg white. For ease, cut the log in half and wrap both halves separately in plastic wrap. Freeze until firm.

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. Remove one half of the dough from the freezer. Using a sharp knife, slice dough into 1/2″ slices and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until very lightly golden on top. Allow them to cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat this process with the second log of dough.

 While cookies are cooling, prepare the icing by whisking powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla until smooth. Once cookies are completely cool, drizzle the icing on with a spoon.

Enjoy!

 Ky

Neutrogena Body Oil Review

Let’s face it – winter in Cleveland is frigid and miserable. Though we have been pretty lucky with nice weather lately, the inevitable awaits us. With the cold temperatures comes big blankets, lots of layers, and of course the worst, pale and dry skin. I hate how dry my skin gets in the winter! I moisturize my skin each morning while getting ready but as soon as I step outside I feel like my skin is already dry again. It’s like the wind chill just wipes the moisturizer right off.

 I recently received a free bottle of Neutrogena Body Oil to try and I have to tell you all, I absolutely love it!  This oil has helped keep my skin smooth and moisturized throughout the entire day. I have been using this product regularly for about a month and can tell the difference in my skin. My favorite part about this product is that it is more than just a moisturizer. In addition to using the body oil as a moisturizer, you can also use it in a bath to help soften your skin, as a shave gel when shaving your legs, as well as a cuticle softener when doing your nails. The only downside I found was the sesame fragrance. I have pretty sensitive skin so my skin does not do well with fragrances in lotions or oils. With that being said, Neutrogena does offer a fragrance-free version of this oil.

For all of you ladies out there struggling with dry and sensitive skin like me, check out Neutrogena’s Body Oil to help hydrate your skin.

 These products were provided to me by NEUTROGENA®. #SoSheerSkinGlows Thoughts and opinions are my own – find out more at Neutrogena.com/bodyoil

 Ky