Lost + found

“Why did I travel solo to Hawaii?”

Well, if I’m being entirely honest I found a round trip ticket for $300 and because all of my friends and family are living their own lives (school, work, etc.) I decided, what the heck, I’m not going to let fear hold me back.

And maybe it didn’t turn out to be all rainbows and unicorns. Not every moment was necessarily capital F U N, but I learned that it’s okay. It’s okay to be lonely at times, to miss the presence of the ones we love and wish could be there with us. Sometimes God takes us on adventures to grow us and speak truth into our hearts that we are so desperately seeking.

Change makes me sad, whether it’s teeny tiny or life-altering. From as far back as I can remember, I have feared change. So because I’m choosing to display my true self with you, I’ll admit I cried (a lot) the first night I arrived on Oahu and found myself all alone tucked away in a desolately quiet basement on the mountainside that hadn’t seen company since summertime. All of my built up excitement from car ride to plane ride of imagining the glorious tropical memories I’d make- as a wanderlust independent adventurer, like someone who backpacks Europe by themself just for the experience- it felt snatched from me in a shear moment of loneliness.

But this really isn’t a sad story, I promise. Way more good came out of my solo trip than sadness. I believe God knows exactly what our souls need, even when we think we need something entirely different. And he filled my soul to the brim over these past five days. He said “my love, I am here with you holding your hand, always. Though you may feel alone, I will never leave you.”

He ignited my once lost passion for creating what my heart desires- capturing beauty and letting words spill onto paper (or rather a keyboard, which sounds less poetic), seeking adventure instead of staying inside, reading beautiful stories that motivate me to lead a purposeful life and best of all, he reminded me how important it is to just be.

He whispered, “slow down and just be who I created you. Why are you anxious? Why do you feel so uneasy and unloved just because you are alone? Darling, I adore every piece of you, even when you can only see flaws. You don’t need noise and “busyness” and constant calculated plans- all you need is me, so come home child.”

Because I didn’t have anyone to depend on, I felt a strong nudge to make friends wherever I went. I would say I’m definitely more introverted, so for me this was quite uncomfortable, but man did it grow me. I was able to connect with bloggers and influencers through social media more than I ever have. But even more special than that, I met a number of people just because I decided to say hi, look up from my phone and spark real conversation- whether it was at the beach, on an airplane or in a coffee shop.

Moral of the story…. Do something crazy or out of your comfort zone and just see the beauty that God brings out of it. And let’s all practice embracing our real, honest, quirky selves.

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OOTD

Overall dress: topshop (thrifted from Poshmark)

Strapless crop top: brandy melville

Hat: Brixton

Shoes: thrifted vintage

Backpack: thrifted vintage

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cashew Cream Cheese Icing // vegan, gf, refined sf

Sometimes all I want to do is indulge in something naughty

Ya feel me?

In my 17 years of life I have never made a better, more indulgent healthy treat. It’s like you’re deceiving your sweet tooth, it’s so good.

Fun fact about me: my favorite cake is carrot cake

What I love about this specific recipe is that the cake stays extremely moist, yet still fluffy and the icing seriously mimics real cream cheese frosting like nobody’s business. Plus, for all of you who are already prejudging it’s difficulty, I’m here to tell you that these are really easy to make and don’t require a lot of time or skill (woohoo!).

For the cupcakes…

    • 1 1/4 cups blanched almond flour
    • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 2 large eggs, room temperature
    • 1/3 cup refined melted coconut oil
    • 1/3 cup honey
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a muffin tin with 8 muffin liners.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (almond flour through nutmeg). Set this aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla.
  • Add the dry mix to the wet mix just until combined and then gently fold in the grated carrots.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the liners and bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Do not frost until completely cool.

For the faux cream cheese icing…

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in hot water 1 hour or cool water 6-8 hours
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk or cream
  • 3-4 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup  coconut oil (preferably the consistency of softened butter)
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Soak cashews in very hot water for 1 hour or in cool water for 6-8 hours. Drain thoroughly and add to a blender. To the blender, also add remaining ingredients.
  • Blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. It’s important to get the frosting as creamy and smooth as possible, so blend on high with a high-speed blender until the texture is silky and smooth.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more maple syrup for sweetness, vanilla for vanilla flavor, or more lemon zest for tang.
  • Transfer frosting to a medium mixing bowl (with room to blend / whisk) and cover. Place in the freezer and chill for 45 minutes. Then remove from freezer and whisk. Freeze for another 45 minutes – 1 hour and whisk again. Then leave in the freezer until semi-firm to the touch (cheesecake texture // ~ 2-4 hours) and use a hand mixer (or whisk) to blend until creamy and smooth. Depending on how firm your frosting is, this may take a little work at the beginning as it softens. If too thick, microwave in 15-second increments until blendable (or leave out at room temperature to soften).
  • Your frosting is ready to use.

It’s that simple.

I encourage everyone to try out this recipe, which is now one of my favorites. And anybody who does make these decadent cupcakes, please send me pictures via instagram @moodymadeline.

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read my previous blog post: But First, (no) Coffee

The Unknown

What is God’s intricate plan for my life?

 

I find myself wondering this a good amount throughout my days. Job opportunities, school, family, travel, relationships….. what is God asking of me?

I want to be His servant and say yes to His plans for me. All I can do is knock on the door and see if it opens. In this season, I need to have the virtues of patience and trust. For his grace is more faithful than my own…

If you’re at a crossroads and seem to be faced with tough decisions, I encourage you to be a faithful servant and listen for the truth God is speaking into your heart.8EDC731F-F356-4617-BEA1-7D04414D5986B3F95D02-3754-4F83-A91F-71BE626BA679Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with c8 presetProcessed with VSCO with c8 presetProcessed with VSCO with a4 preset

The Best Healthy Chocolate Cookies // GF, DF + Refined SF

Do you ever come to a cross roads where you want to stick to your healthy eating lifestyle but you also really want to eat a bomb chocolate cookie? Me too.

Well… you’re in luck today because I’m sharing the most amazing cookie recipe that fits all of my weird health requirements and still tastes like junk food. Let’s be honest, when I first discovered these cookies I made them way too often and they disappeared way too quickly. Now I try to limit how often I make them, but they will always be one of my favorite chocolatey treats. Also, they are some of the simplest cookies to make ever.

Double Chocolate Fudge Cookies:

makes approximately: 20

Ingredients

2/3 cup cocoa (or cacao) powder

1 cup organic coconut sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

generous pinch of himalayan pink salt

1 cup natural unsweetened almond (or peanut) butter

1/2 cup aquafaba (canned chickpea juice)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients, making sure there’s no lumps. In a medium bowl combine remaining wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and thoroughly incorporate until a thick batter/slightly runny dough is formed. Line two cookie sheets with silpats or parchment paper, and make small balls out of the dough (about 2 tbsps each). Make sure to spread apart nicely because they tend to flatten out and expand. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges are slightly crisp. Cookies should be slightly crisped on edges and soft and gooey in the center. Let cool on a baking rack and keep for up to four days.

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If you make these cookies please send me a picture, I would love to see!

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Read my previous blog post: Simple Paleo Lemon Blueberry Muffins

xoxo, Madeline

Simple Paleo Lemon Blueberry Muffins

 

Let me tell you, these muffins did not last long in my house.

Just yesterday I went blueberry picking with my mom and best friend, and when I came home I couldn’t resist not making something with the berries . So that is what I did with my Friday afternoon. I made these very simple, healthy and yummy blueberry muffins. They are such a great snack.

I am starting to incorporate more eggs back into my diet, and I feel like this is a great way to make the slow transition. These muffins are full of protein, good fats and fiber. I love to stick them into my toaster oven to get nice and warmed throughout and then put some butter on them. So good.

4 eggs

½ cup full fat coconut milk

6 tbsp raw honey

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Zest of 1 small/med lemon

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

⅔ cup coconut flour

¼ cup tapioca flour

1 tsp baking soda

⅛ tsp salt

¾ cup fresh blueberries

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line  muffin tins with cupcake liners and then spray non-stick oil into liners (I failed to do this and mine stuck pretty bad to the liners).

In a large bowl combine all wet ingredients using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer.

In a medium sized bowl combine all dry ingredients. Then slowly add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients just until incorporated (don’t over mix).

Finally, hand mix in the blueberries until thoroughly dispersed. Scoop batter into muffin tins and fill about 3/4 of the way, leaving room for them to rise. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely to store, or enjoy warm with butter. Yum.

Thank you for reading, if you try these out I’d love to hear how you liked them. xoxo

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Read my previous blog post: Beachin’ it 🌴 // Best Oahu Beaches

Beachin’ it 🌴 // Best Oahu Beaches

Lanikai Beach

One of my favorite beaches, located in Kailua, is Lanikai beach which is beautiful and perfect for all types of beach-goers. The weather isn’t always the greatest, but the scenery and rolling waves always make for a fun time. Famous for the two small island peeking out of the ocean, with its white sand and barely crowded shores, I would highly recommend visiting this beach. 

Sandy Beach

My #1 favorite spot. Where all the locals go and where the waves can be scary big. You will have a true Hawaiian experience when you visit this body surfing beach. Personally, I love watching the brave surfers and body surfers here, and although I don’t do either at this beach I have the most fun swimming in the big surf. If you aren’t a strong swimmer I’d suggest just sun bathing on the beach, but it’s still worth it to check this one out. 

Cockroach Cove

Located right next to Sandy Beach, Cockroach cove is a fun little destination spot. After walking down the rocky path you’ll find yourself in a pretty cove where you can swim in the small waves, explore the rocks on either side (where we jumped off) or even venture into a cave that goes under the road above. It’s a mellow beach, but can easily get crowded because of how small it is. 

Haleiwa Angel Wings

I know this one isn’t a beach, but I felt like I had to include it! If you have an Instagram I’m sure you’ve seen these pretty wings. Located on the North Shore, they’ve become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Kaimana Beach

You can find this one in walking distance to Waikiki beach. However, Kaimana is much less crowded, the water is cleaner and you won’t be suffocated by tourists. I think this beach was once known as a gay beach, but over the years has lost that reputation. You can surf out to the left of the channel, snorkel over the reef or simply relax in the shallow, calm water. This beach is close to town, but still beautiful and doesn’t feel too much like you’re in a big city. 

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4 Amazing Hikes on Oahu 

I recently visited the breathtaking island of Oahu with my sister and three of our close friends. I always joke that when we go on vacation it’s not the relaxing type… it’s the go go go type. I think there’s just too much beauty to miss out on when you’re only on the islands for 10 days, so our vacation consisted of a lot of hiking, swimming and eating. And today I’m sharing 4 of my favorite hikes with you. 
The Ehukai Pillbox Hike

This one is seriously one of my favorite tropical hikes ever. It’s short and sweet, with some intense inclined portions. I love getting to experience several different sceneries within this one hike. First you weave through a rainforest-like atmosphere, then you go through a dirt path that is interwoven with tree roots and slippery from mud, next you walk through a serene path that is lined with delicate hanging trees that are light in color… and finally you make it to an opening where you see the ocean and the first abandoned military pillbox. You can even go inside of it where there is graffiti and a view of the shoreline. Make your way down the trail a bit further and you’ll run into the second pillbox where a peace sign is painted with the word “peace”- making for a great photo op. This is located on the Northshore, overlooking the famous Pipeline beach. 

Pali Puka

I will warn you that this had a “Do not enter” warning sign at the start of the trailhead. So honestly I’m not sure if it’s illegal or just frowned upon. My sister and I bravely began this hike on a windy, overcast morning. Luckily we didn’t know what to expect… because sometimes it’s better not knowing and just going for, it if you know what I mean. 

I am pretty scared of heights, so this one was one of the most challenging hikes for me. But nonetheless, the views were definitely worth it. It is a short, but steep hike. You begin by gradually climbing a muddy path where there are ropes to help you out on the sides. Then you make it out of the trees and find yourself on the side of a very steep mountain ridge, which you slowly walk along (and hope you don’t die) for a while. Finally you will find yourself right above the famous hole in the mountain face where you’ll have to climb down to. I am probably making this hike seem scarier than it is, but that’s just because I’m afraid of heights and had a few mini panic attacks. But I made it and I’m happy that it pushed me out of my comfort zone. Couldn’t have done it without my sister, who is fearless when it comes to heights! 

Koko Head Crater @ Sunrise

Koko head is a well known hike located in Hawaii Kai. It consists of 1,048 steps to the top of a large mountain. It was my fourth time doing it, but my first time attempting it at sunrise. My sister and I started around 4:30 when we needed flash lights to see where we were going. Luckily it was much cooler than hiking it during the day, but that didn’t stop us from dripping sweat and labored breathing (lol). Even if you think you’re in good shape, Koko head will kick your butt on the way up. But man is it worth it when you make it to the top… especially at sunrise, the feeling and the views were unreal. I love the feeling of being up before the sun, the anticipation before it rises and the stillness you experience on the top of a mountain when the skies are painted with pinks, blues and purples. 

The Makapu’u Tide Pools

You will find this hidden gem on the way to the Makapu’u Lighthouse hike. I don’t know if it’s actually considered a hike, because it is basically just climbing down the side of a rocky mountain. Nevertheless, once you make it down the make shift path you’ll find yourself in awe of the clear, emerald water and serene closeness to the powerful crashing waves. There are multiple large tide pools that you can swim and snorkel in- so bring some goggles. I would recommend going at high tide (which was 11 am while we were there) because the tide pools will have more water in them. Be careful of large sets that crash on the rocks, you don’t want to be swept into the ocean at that location. 

I hope my hiking suggestions were helpful for anyone traveling to Oahu. If you want me to write about places to eat or beaches to go to, please leave me a comment below and I’d be happy to make another post! 

Thanks for reading, xoxo 💛 

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Adulting with Maddie

As I sit here contemplating my existence in a hipster coffee shop I can’t help but count my blessings today. 

I think it’s way too easy to fall into routines and forget to take those precious moments to recollect good memories and allow your heart to smile. I have to remind myself to slow down and find my happiness. 

My life has been nothing short of crazy lately. Crazy in the best way possible. I have three and a half days left of school, I graduate in 10 days and I leave for my Hawaii grad trip in exactly two weeks. Not to mention that my summer plans are all being pinned down… including multiple concerts and trips. Ahhhh, I get butterflies in my stomachs just thinking about the good times to come. 

With so many fun things looming in my future, I have been buckling down and working non-stop before the craziness and vacations begin. Working doubles, covering shifts and not getting a day of for a week straight has been the norm for me… but I am beyond blessed to have the opportunity to make money and have a blast while doing so. I don’t think I’ve said it enough, but I love my job. I’m so lucky to work for a company that makes me want to go to work and put in the hours (because many times it doesn’t even feel like a job). I know many people that can’t say that about their work, so it’s important for me to express my gratitude in that aspect. 

I will be finishing my associate of arts degree this upcoming fall (I only have two more classes to complete it). After that, I my currently planning to take a year off (because I have no clue what I want to study) and see what opportunities come my way. I am usually the type of person to stress about large life decisions like that, but right now I’m content with the uncertainty of everything. 

I cannot begin to express how genuinely happy and secure I am with the people who I’m surrounded by. Family and friends included, I find myself to have a constant smile on my face and a soar stomach from laughing uncontrollably. It’s an amazing feeling to know that you’ve met the right people. 

Overall, I just wanted to give you all a little life update from me… I may continue this “Adluting with Maddie” series if I so choose. Thank you for the constant support and encouragement in all that I do. 💛 

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My Favorite Healthy Snack Bars

I don’t know about you, but I am constantly on the go.

I find my biggest struggle to be keeping my body and mind nourished when my schedule barely leaves time for me to get a bite to eat. But my favorite, and easiest way I’ve found to fuel my body fast is always keeping snack bars on hand.

Today I’m sharing three of my favorite healthy snack bars with you, and they don’t even taste healthy.

The three main elements I look for in healthy snack bars: refined sugar-free, gluten free and dairy free. All of these bars meet these requirements with only slight exceptions.

  1. The RXBAR

High in protein, packed with flavor, and best of all, filled with ingredients that will fuel your body for an extended period of time. I have yet to try a flavor of the RXBAR that I even slightly dislike. Yes, these ones do contain egg whites, which are usually not a key component in my diet. However, lately I have been trying to reintroduce eggs by slowly adding them back into my eating habits. So far it has been going fantastic, and I haven’t noticed any negative effects of doing so in small quantities. I would 10/10 recommend these delicious snack bars for anyone looking for a clean pick-me-up. And can we just talk about how adorable their packaging is? I love how clearly they market their bars to only have a few wholesome ingredients, and of course no BS.

2. Go Macro Bars

Also high in protein, packed with healthy plant-based nutrients, vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free. Shop these vegan nutrition bars here. What more can you ask for? Plus, they taste like a treat. My favorite is the coconut and granola… so yummy. I definitely look forward to snacking on these throughout my day.

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3. Square Organics Protein Bars

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With each bar containing an average of 12 grams of protein, you can’t go wrong with these sustaining snack bars. The only downside to them, is that the chocolate coating on the outside has a small amount of dried cane syrup, which I normally try to avoid all together. I try to limit the number of bars I eat because of the sugar, but I don’t feel like it’s bad to have them once in a while. I love the variety that square organics offers, and the unique flavors like mint and cherry coconut. If you’re looking for a great alternative bar to one like a Luna or Cliff Bar (that are packed with sugar and processed ingredients) I would highly recommend Square Bars.

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If you’re like me and constantly need quick fuel for your busy lifestyle, then my biggest word of advice is to always keep healthy snacks on hand when those moments of hunger or cravings hit. Bars are some of the smartest ways to keep your body nourished in a pinch.

I hope my snack bar recommendations were helpful… I plan to do more of these healthy snack food posts in the future. I would love to know what healthy “snack” foods you eat, so please leave me a comment💛

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Read my previous blog post: “You Can’t Afford a New Pair of Jeans?”

“You Can’t Afford a New Pair of Jeans?”

I like to call these my “You can’t afford a new pair of jeans?” jeans. Ya know, since every time I wear them, I’m asked that about ten times. People nowadays, let me tell you, they are just so original, it cracks me up.

Here’s the story of this outfit choice…

I spent my Saturday running around; working in the morning, going to my cousin’s birthday party, doing errands and getting a facial treatment… then before I knew it, it was already time to be at the restaurant where my Aunt’s surprise party was being held. And it’s pretty important that you’re not late to those types of parties.

So, my sister and I rushed home, and I quickly changed my shirt (I had already been wearing the jeans all day), threw on my favorite hat since I hadn’t washed my hair in about four days, slipped into my new sandals, grabbed my makeup and ran out the door. That was all in the course of about five minutes.

No, if you were wondering, we were not late. We made it just in time.

My point is that you don’t have to spend an hour picking out an outfit for a special event. Just choose clothes that make you feel beautiful and confident. I didn’t care that my look was mix matched and bold. I think it’s really important to take fashion risks and to wear things that might not be in your comfort zone, because lots of times, the best outfits are ones that not everyone is brave enough to wear.

Sandals- Steve Madden

Jeans- Pacsun

Shirt- Elodie

Hat- a gift from New Mexico

xoxo💛

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Read my previous blog post: Improving my Low Energy