Friday Faves

Hey friends! I survived my week! I am currently writing this post on Thursday night, the first night this week that I didn’t work overtime and/or didn’t have some kind of function to attend after work. PHEW.

My office hosted/coordinated/attended quite a few events this week (ALL of which took place on Wednesday, I might add) so it was a crazy time. And much like I said in my post about staying healthy in times of busy-ness, I have still been keeping up with my workouts…buuuut just not so much with the healthy eating part. Though I can successfully say I haven’t had any cheese and crackers dinners this week! Small victory.

In the little time I’ve had to surf the web over the past few weeks, I’ve accumulated a few fun finds, along with other things I’ve been enjoying IRL, that I wanted to share today. Enjoy! Continue reading

Muesli Protein Bars

***Muesli Fusion chose these Protein Bars as a finalist in their recipe contest!! If you like what you see, PLEASE head over to Facebook and click on my recipe – Muesli Protein Bars (Blonde Ambition Blog)…all you have to do is click! Voting closes this FRIDAY, June 21st! THANK YOU!!!***

I think I’ve mentioned a few times that I have been really into overnight oats lately. This is in large part due to the fact that I acquired a bag of Muesli Fusion at Blend, and I l-o-v-e it.

When I heard Muesli Fusion would be sponsoring one of our breakfasts, I was actually pretty skeptical about the whole idea of muesli. I thought, “It has no added sugar, so it’s not crunchy like granola…it’s basically just oats and fruit??” whyyy would you eat raw oats and fruit?

Fortunately, Muesli Fusion totally proved me wrong. One beef I’ve always had with overnight oats is that it’s too mushy. I am a texture freak, I need to have SOME kind of crunch or chew in my oatmeal/overnight oats. And Muesli Fusion’s An-Ox totally provides that. It has walnuts, dried goji berries & blueberries, and cacao nibs. Perfect solution!

I’ve all but decided to eliminate plain oats from my grocery-staple list and replace them with muesli. Seriously, I love the stuff.

Last week, as I was approaching the end of my bag of An-Ox, I remembered that Muesli Fusion is hosting a recipe contest. The challenge: to create a recipe featuring Muesli Fusion cereal.

Challenge accepted!


I really wanted to make homemade granola muesli bars, but every recipe I found used at least 1/2 cup and usually closer to 1 cup of sugar/maple syrup/honey/etc. One of the most advertised characteristics about Muesli Fusion cereals is that they have no added sugar, except that which comes from the added fruit, and I really wanted to keep a somewhat low level of sugar in my recipe.

What I ended up with not only has less sugar than a store-bought granola bar, but also, thanks to a few scoops of protein powder and crunchy quinoa, packs a good 8 grams of protein per serving!

Instead of tons of sugar, this recipe uses only 3 tablespoons of honey, as well as the natural sweetness of banana.


Though An-Ox already has a bunch of good add ins, my inner texture freak came out and I added a few crunchy ingredients: chia seeds, quinoa, and almonds.

I maaaaay have also used chocolate protein powder and added chocolate chips…but doesn’t everyone love feeling like they’re eating dessert for breakfast?

These aren’t your typical crunchy granola bars, but I love them all the same. The version with chocolate chips that I made clocks in at around 200 calories, only 5g of fat, a whopping 7 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protein. This version has about 11.5g of sugar, which would be a fair amount lower if you omit chocolate chips.


So will you join me in eating dessert for breakfast?


PS. If these sound like something you’d like to try making yourself, please re-pin this post on Pinterest! I could get a prize if I get the most pinned recipe! Click this link to re-pin 🙂

PPS. If you aren’t feeling up to the challenge of creating a new recipe…try entering Muesli Fusion’s summer giveaway! No purchase necessary, no blog post needed. Just like their Facebook page!

(Chocolate) Muesli Protein Bars
makes 8 bars
pin this!

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (you can also use skim milk or any unsweetened non-dairy milk)
3 tbsp honey
1/2 ripe banana, mashed
1 tsp chia seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups Muesli Fusion An-Ox
2 scoops chocolate protein powder (I used Onnit Hemp Force, but you can use any kind! Doesn’t have to be chocolate!)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, or full almonds roughly chopped (measure after chopping)
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (or cooked. depends on what consistency you’re going for! i kinda par-cooked mine, haha)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional, will increase amount of sugar in bars)
1 tbsp flour (optional, if needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium-large bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside. Mix remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. When evenly mixed throughout, slowly add dry ingredients to bowl of wet ingredients, making sure everything gets evenly incorporated. Mixture should be pretty wet, but if you think it looks too wet, feel free to add about a tablespoon of flour.

Ideally you will use an 8×8 or 9×9 pan for these bars. Spray your pan with oil and press the batter tightly into the pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking at the 20 minute mark to see how done they are. You will want them to be firm in the middle, and to look dry. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit before removing from pan. Let cool completely to room temperature before cutting into bars…it should make about 8!

Keep in an airtight container, or individually wrap the bars in saran wrap, and keep in fridge. Should keep for about a week.

Friday Faves

1. This article about Julia Child.

This week would have been her 100th birthday! For someone who loves cooking, and lived in France for a year, there’s still a lot I don’t know about Julia Child.  This article in particular is pretty heartwarming, and makes me glad to be in a relationship where my interests and aspirations are respected. Though whenever I read about her husband, I will always picture Stanley Tucci….

2. Having one finger back.

With my smaller cast, I can now write (kind of) and braid my hair again!

It’s the little things.

3. Veggie Sandwiches.

I bought some amazing bread at the farmer’s market last week, but am rushing to finish it all before it goes bad! This sando had roasted red & green bell peps, tomatoes from my dad’s garden, spinach, and low fat sun-dried tomato shmear. The bread is pretty hefty, and I feel like roasted peppers are a tasty substitute for lunch meat. Sometimes I use eggplant instead, which is just as good!

4. Dips, dips, dips.

I’ve almost gone through an entire extra large tub of cilantro jalapeno hummus in 1 week’s time. I have a problem. I can’t stop pinning amazing dip recipes. I’m going to a barbecue tonight and have been dubbed “good at cooking & stuff” so I want to bring something homemade… But which one to choose? I need a food processor…stat.

5. Almond milk.

Remember when I shared my secret tip with you all about adding French Vanilla creamer to your oatmeal? Try almond milk! So good!

After my doctor told me that my broken hand hadn’t healed, I went straight to the store and bought the milk with the highest calcium content I could find: almond milk. I later realized it was unsweetened and kinda gross on its own. But in oatmeal and in smoothies? SO GOOD! Plus, being unsweetened means way fewer calories. Only 30 per cup!

What were your favorite things this week?

My Favorite Food Bloggers

Did you ever have imaginary friends as a kid? I didn’t. I might have created personalities for my Barbies, but I never understood how someone could pretend they had a friend who wasn’t actually by their side.

Until now.

My name is Katie, and I have imaginary blog friends. Jessica. Lauren. Tina. Adrianna. Katie. All women who I’ve never met, but yet feel like I know everything about. I have nearly 15 food blogs bookmarked that I check every day not only to find new recipes, but also to hear stories from my “friends”. Jessica loves cheese…I love cheese! Lauren rationalizes her baking and cooking with jogging…I do that too!

Not only can these girls cook, they also often share smart and motivating philosophies about food and healthy dieting. Many of you know I used to be Food Network obsessed. Now, I prefer to read the blogs of fellow 20-somethings that I can actually relate to! Here’s a list of just a couple of my favorite blogs and a blurb about each one! Continue reading