No Sugar, No Butter, Banana Bread

E6EEC132-D432-45C2-84CF-E7402080A761

I will get straight to the point on this one so that y’all don’t have to scroll forever to get to the recipe! 😉 Bottom line is this is the yummiest banana bread I have ever tasted, and it’s not bad for you (yay!).  I have made this recipe based off of another recipe I found on pinterest, and this is my perfected version! I hope that you all enjoy! (Blue and white plate linked here. + similar cutting board here.)

What you will need:

  •  1/3 c melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 c pure maple syrup or honey (I use both–1/4 c syrup, 1/4 c honey)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 medium ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1/4 c of milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus additional for swirl on top
  • 1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 9×5 in loaf pan –Link to my loaf pan here (the best!)

Optional:

  •  peanut butter chips (I love this addition, I add about 1/4 c. Can be found in baking aisle), or dark chocolate chips
  • chopped pecans, walnuts, or slivered almonds on top!

Instructions:

  •  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, spray your loaf pan with non-stick spray (I use coconut oil spray.)
  • Melt your coconut oil in the microwave in 20 second increments until liquified, whisk honey/syrup with the oil thoroughly. Add eggs and beat until combined.
  • Next, add mashed bananas and milk, mix.
  • Mix in baking soda, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon.
  • Lastly, with a large spoon, stir in the flour. Also, if you are adding chocolate chips or nuts, mix those now as well.
  • Pour batter into your loaf pan, and sprinkle some more cinnamon on top. To add a swirl effect, run a fork across the top in a swirled pattern.
  • Bake for 55-60 min. (I like mine to be not as done, so I take it out at 55.)
IMG_6712
Swirl before oven!

**Note that this bread is very moist, so after a few days of sitting at room temperature, I recommend you put it in the fridge. If you’re like me, and the whole loaf is gone after a few days, this shouldn’t be an issue. 😋

IMG_6920
Eat as a side, snack, or dessert!

 

Be sure to tag me if you decide to make it–I wanna see! 🍌🍞🍯

Cheers,

Olivia

 

5 Items I ALWAYS Travel With

Hey Y’all! I haven’t written a blog post in quite some time, and I’m happy to be back! Thanks for stopping by to hang out for a bit. 🙂  In the total chaos of getting ready for our next trip (Leaving for Germany/Switzerland today!), I thought of this blog topic.  Also–I find writing to be therapeutic, and it was nice to sit down for a few minutes to talk to y’all. I always enjoy hearing your feedback, so let me know in the comments of this post or my Instagram post of your must have items when you travel!   If you are interested in hearing about mine, just keep reading!

Impressions Vanity Mirror:  This little light-up mirror is so convenient–fits right in your makeup bag! It has both a regular mirror and magnified mirror on the other side.  I actually received this as a Christmas gift in my stocking this past year (Thanks Mom!), and it goes with me on every trip! I don’t have to worry about sharing the bathroom mirror with someone, poor lighting, etc.  I just sit wherever and whenever to put my makeup on with this handy little thing!

Travel Mirror (currently on sale too)

Nexxus Hair Masque:  First of all, I love Nexxus hair masques.  I always use a hair masque in place of regular conditioner, and this one is so moisturizing.  Secondly, this takes up barely any space in your suitcase! Depending on how long my trip is, I will pack a couple of these (one pack usually lasts me a couple washes, and I have very thick hair.).  If you care to hear more about hair products I love, I’ll link that here. 🙂

Nexxus Hair Mask

Perfect Bar: The BEST protein bar I have ever tasted hands down (with really great ingredients too).  And let me tell you, I’ve tried a ton of protein bars.  You can find these in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores including Aldi and Target.  These can be out of the refrigerator for up to a week and can either be a meal replacement or a snack depending on the person.  Breakfast is super important to me, so I always have these just in case something prevents me from making time for breakfast when traveling!  For example, I know I will be on the plane for 9+ hours here shortly, so having these bars on hand has me covered.

Perfect Bar

Silk/Satin Pillowcase:  This may seem like a “diva” item as my mom would say.  However, if you know me, you know that I am a terrible sleeper!  I started sleeping on a satin pillowcase last year, and recently splurged on a pure silk one.  There are so many benefits of sleeping on silk, and I will not go into all the details.  The bottom line is I sleep so much better with this, and I make sure I’m never without it!  No one has time for sleep deprivation when traveling the world!  I’ll link both the satin and silk pillowcases.

Satin Pillowcase (more affordable option)

Pure Silk Pillowcase

Travel Wet Wipes:  Some of y’all are laughing at this one, that’s okay! Hey, I don’t like germs.  If I’m going to spend enough time on an airplane to eat/sleep/relax, you can bet I’m wiping down my arm rests, tray table, etc. before getting too comfortable!  No one has time to pick up nasty germs when traveling the world either, right??

Travel Wipes

 

I hope that you find some of these items helpful for your next trip!  Stay tuned for a flood of photos for the next 10+ days of our trip to Germany/Switzerland! If you aren’t already following me on Instagram, my handle is oliviaccgreen.

Cheers,

Olivia

 

 

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies

IMG_6078

Hello friends!  I hope that everyone had a wonderful Super-Bowl weekend filled with all of your favorite yummy foods– I know we did for sure.  That’s why I was so glad to get my butt to the grocery store today to buy all the healthy foods I could find. The recipe I’m sharing with you is one that will cure your sweet tooth, and you don’t have to be guilty about it!  I have tried sooo many “healthy” cookie recipes, and this by far is the best I have tasted.  My friends have made theses cookies and love them too!

IMG_6073

The recipe came from Emily Didonato, and I’ll link her video here.  She is such an adorable person to follow, so if you’ve never checked out her youtube channel, I recommend that you do!

IMG_6046

 

IMG_6047

Anyways, here is the wonderful recipe 🙂

  •  1 cup all natural creamy almond butter
  •  1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  •  1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  •  1 egg
  •  1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  •  1/2 tsp baking soda
  •  1/2 tsp sea salt     ( this is super important IMO, do not skip!)
  •  1 bar of dark chocolate chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all together in a mixing bowl. No need to refrigerate, I scooped the batter right onto the cookie sheet (My cookies were larger, and it made about 10).  Cook for 10 minutes! Enjoy!

 

IMG_6052

I hope that y’all enjoy this recipe.  Let me know if you are interested in other healthy recipes that I use every day, and also if you try this one! I’d love to hear from you.  Cheers y’all. 🙂

 -Olivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 (very) Random Things About Me

img_2586

  1. The first thing I ever learned how to drive was a tractor! (I grew up on a farm).
  2. I eat cereal every single morning for breakfast–It’s my fav.
  3. I met my husband in high school.  (10 years together now.)
  4. The first time I flew on a plane was when I was 22, and I was absolutely terrified! Now, I have flown so many different places, and I love to travel!
  5. I’m a terrible sleeper. I take melatonin and sometimes wear ear plugs (until recently b/c ear infection, yikes).
  6. My favorite food is Mexican food. My favorite Mexican restaurant in the area is Mi Cancun! $5 Margs on Saturdays, you’re welcome.
  7. I cannot stand ketchup–It’s the worst.
  8. My favorite show is F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I’m embarrassed at how many times I have seen every single episode.
  9. There are streets all over my hometown named after my family–My maiden name is Carpenter! We have so much family history here in Cary.
  10. I love to bake.
  11. I do not watch The Bachelor lol.
  12. I have never lived outside of NC.
  13. Country music is my favorite (Particularly, Alan Jackson and older stuff)
  14. I have a doberman named Josie, whom I am obsessed with. Clearly.
  15. Coffee of choice: Iced almond milk latte or cold brew no matter what the season is.
  16. Wine of choice: Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet!
  17. Coke > Pepsi
  18. My favorite city to visit is Charleston.
  19. I’m going to Europe for the first time in just a couple months! (Switzerland and Germany.)
  20. I dyed my hair brown one time in high school, and it turned orange–FAIL.
  21. I didn’t know how to pronounce “acai” bowl until about 3 months ago. Also, Ive never had one until today!
  22. Favorite season: Fall
  23. I didn’t have braces as a kid, but I got invisalign when I was 20–best decision ever!
  24. I’ve never been in a tanning bed.
  25. A quote that I love: “Experience is the teacher of all things.” I can’t wait to see what experiences and knowledge year 25 brings!

As always, thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed learning some very random things about me! Maybe let me know in a comment below something random about yourself lol. 🙂 I love to hear from y’all!

Cheers,

Olivia

Charleston Recommendations

Alright y’all, this will be a longer post.  Grab a snack, and stay a while. 🙂 I know that there are so many wonderful options of where to eat and what to do in Charleston, so I hope you enjoy reading about my personal favs! I had the pleasure of bringing my Meme to Charleston for her 70th bday, and showing her around–She absolutely adored it!  This is my favorite blog post yet, mainly because I am so in love with this wonderful place. I hope you enjoy my recommendations!

img_0223.jpg

Where to stay:

We stayed at the Francis Marion, the oldest hotel in Charleston, located on King Street. This was such an elegant, vintage hotel. You can feel that you are in a historic building the moment you walk in.  The grand lobby with crystal chandeliers, marble floors, and antique blue carpet was decorated in the classiest Christmas decor. (We enjoyed hanging out in the lobby in the mornings drinking coffee before our adventures!) Our hotel room had the same antique-feel as the lobby–It was lovely. 🙂

IMG_5432    IMG_5431

Another really great historic hotel is the Mills House–My mom and dad love to stay here when they come to Charleston. This is a smaller hotel than Francis Marion with a beautiful lobby as well.  It is pink on the outside with a gorgeous wrought iron balcony!

img_5655.jpg

We also got a tour of The Vendue, a more modern hotel. I am for sure staying here when I come back to Charleston with Jordan.  It is so chic and classy.  The rooms have exposed brick and lots of windows, which I love!  Also– There is live music in the “drawing room” at night.   The staff is also so wonderful, and we were treated like queens while we hung out there!

IMG_5657  IMG_5658

What to See:

Rainbow Row:  This is pretty much a given when coming to Charleston.  It is the most iconic and colorful street to walk down. The whole street of houses is just so charming to look at.

IMG_5440

The Battery: If you are going to walk down Rainbow Row, you may as well walk down the battery too–it is very close by! The Battery is a defensive sea wall, and also a landmark that stretches along the lower shores of Charleston.  Also a gorgeous scene with grande antebellum homes to view along the way.

img_5656.jpg  IMG_0509

IMG_0247

King Street: The ultimate street for shopping! Tons of high end shops, and simply another  very pleasant street to walk down.  There really is no avoiding King Street when going to Charleston.

The Historic City Market: Make sure to walk through the city market as well! (Another historic building of course).  Mostly open on the weekends–not sure about during the week.  So many local vendors come to the city market to sell their goods (paintings, historic tiles, snacks, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, etc). Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, it’s a neat part of Charleston to see.

Rooftop bars:  For sure go to a rooftop around sunset to get a view of the city!  My two favorite rooftop bars are the rooftop at the Market Pavilion Hotel (you can still go to this rooftop if you aren’t a guest at the hotel) and The Vendue Rooftop!

IMG_0456    IMG_3248

Plantation home:  I loveeee plantation homes, and I highly recommend going to see one if you have time while you are visiting.  My favorite one to visit is Boone Hall–The oak trees are so incredible to look at, and its a lovely spot for pictures! (It’s actually America’s most photographed plantation and featured as the backdrop in several movies).

IMG_3287  IMG_3291

IMG_0324(1).JPG

Okay, finally, where to eat!!

Breakfast/Lunch:

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit: You’ll eat a lot of biscuits in Charleston, but these are unique and a must.  It’s the cutest little shop on King Street, and always has a line out the door.  Since the place is so small, there is pretty much only standing room during peak season. I recommend grabbing some biscuits, and then walking down King Street to shop!

img_3239-e1544149501426.jpg

Poogan’s Porch: Located in an old historic home. As classic as a southern breakfast gets. Biscuits, whipped honey butter, eggs, home fries (fried in duck fat), bacon, sausage, grits, and mimosas :).

Dinner:

Magnolias:  Very southern, charming upscale restaurant.  It’s a calm and quiet place to dine.  Order the down south egg roll and brussel sprout salad!

82 Queen: Lowcountry cuisine. This place felt the most private of any place that we ate at–wonderful for a special date night. Also the best filet I have ever had (a very bold statement, I know). You will not regret ordering it.

Revival: This place is only 5 months old!! It used to be a coffee shop, but now is a very modern restaurant (but still southern).  The only place that did not feed us biscuits before the meal lol! They serve an “edible terrarium” instead (olive paste base with an assortment of veggies to dip), which was delicious! See picture below. Order the lowcountry pirlou.  The service here is wonderful–We were served complimentary champagne and a custom dessert from the chef for Meme’s bday.

IMG_5532  IMG_5533.JPG

Husk Bar:  This bar also serves food, and it is such a cool place to have a few drinks after dinner as well–Go upstairs! Super cozy-feel, brick barn-looking building.  We walked over here from 82 queen to have a few drinks after dinner.

 

I hope that y’all try some of these places when you visit Charleston next! Let me know what you think of them! 🙂

Cheers,

Olivia

 

 

 

Local Date Night Spots

Hey there! I love talking about my favorite local spots, so here are a few of my favorite places for date night or for those nights that you simply want to get dressed up and grab a glass of wine and a great meal with the girls! I’ll be honest, Jordan and I don’t get dressed up for “date night” often, but we do enjoy the places below when we are wanting to escape to something a little more romantic and elegant.

 

MaytonInn

 

MaytonInn8

MaytonInn9(dress linked at the bottom of my post)

 

The Verandah

I’ll start with The Verandah, since that is where this first photo was taken!  This is located inside of the Mayton Inn in downtown Cary. First of all, The Mayton Inn is gorgeous, so of course the restaurant inside is also just as elegant.  Plus, it has a wonderful outdoor brick patio for those cool evenings that we are all waiting for here in the south lol.  The bar is also calm and classy if you want to pop in just for a drink. Order the truffle fries!

 

Peak City Grill

I personally love this place because of the history.  My family owns and runs a feed store that has been in business since 1885, so historic buildings are so special to me.  The building Peak City Grill is in has been all sorts of things in the past like a hardware and feed store as well.  This is a wonderful spot for a quiet, relaxed evening in downtown Apex.  I just love the interior brick walls and antique lighting.  It is for sure my kind of atmosphere.

 

Daniels

This is absolutely a local Italian favorite. Fun Fact: this building actually used to be a BBQ joint manyyy years ago! It has certainly changed, and they are booked up every single night pretty much. So, be sure to make a reservation! My favorite item on the menu is penne a la casa with shrimp, but honestly, I could eat the bread and marinara for my whole meal–it’s that good.

 

The Angus Barn

Okay, I HAD to include this (I did get married there after all).  There is honestly nothing that beats the atmosphere, service, experience, and food in my opinion.  There is simply no place else like The Angus Barn.  My family has always celebrated our most special events in life there.  This will always be my most favorite place to go.  If you have never been around Christmas time, make sure you go–They have the most incredible Christmas decor!

 

I could talk on and on about these places, but I prefer to keep my posts short and sweet! If you haven’t tried these places, I hope you are now inspired to do so!

As always, thanks for reading,

Olivia

 

Lulu’s Red Lace Dress (also comes in blue!)

5 Things I’ve Learned in My First Few Months Being a REALTOR

FrontPorchBlog

Hey there! I have put together a small list of things I have learned throughout the way so far being a realtor. However, I believe that this list can be applied to anyone’s career! I really enjoyed writing this post, and I hope that some of you find it helpful!

  1.  Keep yourself disciplined, and set goals for yourself.  It is so easy to slack off and stay on the couch an extra 30 minutes when you don’t have to be at a meeting at 9am.  This isn’t your typical 9-5 job that most people pursue after college.  It is so nice working for yourself, but you have to stay focused.  That means you have to schedule everyyyything.  Working out, going out to lunch, making calls, listing appointments, anything!
  2. Networking.  Every event is an opportunity to build your business. Talk to people!  Now, I don’t recommend passing out business cards at a wedding lol, but DO always keep business cards on you, and be aware of appropriate situations to chat about your business (tailgating, running to Starbucks, going shopping, eating out, etc).
  3. Find things that keep you motivated.  I listen to podcasts about time blocking, organization, etc. when I’m driving to a listing that is far away. I’ll leave a link down below of the podcasts I find to be helpful–even if you are not a real estate agent!
  4. Keep in touch with people.  Tell your friends and family what you are doing! No one will know that you are a real estate agent if you are quiet about it.  Ask your friends and family if they know anyone that you could help. Referrals are the best!
  5. Teach people how to treat you.  It’s a terrible stereotype that real estate agents work around everyone else’s schedules and don’t have a schedule of their own–This gives me anxiety! You can’t expect to build a business without having a true schedule with guidelines. Set aside appropriate times for appointments for the week. People will respect working with an organized professional.

The One Thing Podcast

^^This is the podcast that I was introduced to, and I really enjoy listening to. My favorite episodes so far are, Episode 2, 134, and 140.

Here are some quotes from this series that really stand out to me:

“People don’t decide their futures. They decide their habits that decide their future.”

“Sometimes you’re failing so slowly that you think you’re succeeding.”

“You are free. Limitations are in your mind.”

 

That is all I have for now! Thanks so much for reading! 🙂

 

Cheers,

Olivia