the mountains are on fire

And by on fire I mean the leaves are starting to change colors and the mountains are covered in all shades of oranges, reds, and yellows! I'm so glad I live in a place where there is honest-to-goodness FALL. I didn't have that growing up. Everyone should at one point or another- it's just good for the soul. 
So is pumpkin bread. Just sayin'. 

At the last minute, I decided to join some friends late afternoon yesterday to head up Provo Canyon. The spot we went to was near the top of Squaw Peak and just incredible. There were a huge open, rolling meadows with great views of the whole valley, Utah Lake, and Mount Timp. Sometimes being in the valley all the time is just dreadful (will they EVER be done with construction, like EVER?!). But anytime I go up the canyons I'm reminded of why people say beUTAHful- because it IS. I'm hoping to go up in the next week or two when ALL of the leaves will be turning!

^ Little explorers!

 Donuts and Big Red Barn apple cider for the WIN!

 My kids are so odd- they love roasting marshmallows, but don't like to eat them- not even s'mores. I know...if I wasn't there to witness their arrival into the world I wouldn't think we were related. 

 ^She took one bite an handed it back to me! (Like I said, they're odd kids...)

 The little tent was a hit- they loved it in there!

 ^Mount Timpanogos in the background- just gorgeous! I wanted to run through that field. 

I just can't get enough of Fall while it's here! Pumpkins everywhere, pumpkin TREATS everywhere, hot cocoa and apple cider always stalked in my kitchen, cool crisp air and making plans for Halloween costumes...


Healthier Dessert Recipes

I have a mega sweet tooth- ice cream and baked goods are my weakness! Since I made a conscious decision to eat better, I just have to be more mindful about the treats I'm eating! I eat dessert every day- usually just a healthier dessert! And I usually splurge once a week on a real, goodness fatty fatty fat pants dessert. It's all about balance, right?

I usually always have Halo Top ice cream, Enlightened ice cream sandwiches or bars, Yasso bars, or Oreo thins stocked! (Not all at once...but there's always SOME thing healthier to choose from around here! It's how I stay sane.) Here are some of my favorite lower calorie treat options:
Lemon Cake & Raspberry Ice Cream 
 1/2 c. lemon cake Halo Top ice cream
1T nonfat cool whip
1T melted sugar free raspberry preserves
fresh raspberries
sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs

WW Smart Points: 4

Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Sundae

1/2 c chocolate Halo Top ice cream
1T nonfat cool whip
Fresh raspberries
1T melted sugar free raspberry preserves
Drizzle of chocolate syrup
2gm mini chocolate chips
4 mini marshamallows
6 white chocolate chips

WW Smart Points: 6

Frozen Key Lime Pie Bites

For the crust:
  • 5 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/3 cup raw oats
For the filling:
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt, plain
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 scoop or packet key lime pie or vanilla protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon honey
Place cupcake liners into a 6-count cupcake tin. Set aside.
Add the dates, walnuts and oats to a food processor and process until well combined and looks like coarse sand. It should feel sticky between your fingers. Once ready, place about a ping pong ball size of crust mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner and flatten out with your fingers so it covers the bottom like a crust (it should be well packed). Set aside.
In a small bowl, add the softened cream cheese, yogurt, protein powder, lime juice and honey. Mix well with a whisk until smooth.
Scoop out the filling and place evenly into each cupcake tin. Place tin in the freezer for an hour or until ready to eat, allowing 5 minutes to thaw. Store leftover tarts in the freezer.

Fruity Pebble Marshmallow Ice Cream Sandwich  

1 Enlightened Ice Cream Sandwich
1T Marshmallow fluff
1T Fruity Pebbles

WW Smart points: 5

Sweet 'n Salty Ice Cream Sandwich

1 Enlightened ice cream sandwich
1T marshmallow fluff
1t peanut butter
1 pretzel thin
2 gm mini chocolate chips

WW Smart Points: 5

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Bar

Chocolate Yasso greek yogurt ice cream bar
1t peanut butter
2 crushed pretzel thins

WW Smart Points: 4

Clean Chocolate Brownie Bites

 In a food processor combine 1/4c walnuts, 1/4c almonds, 1/2c dried dates, 3T cocoa powder, and 1T almond milk. Make 9 tablespoon size balls and refrigerate for 30min before eating.

WW Smart Points: 3 each

Layered Strawberry Dessert 

Two graham cracker squares
5T fat free cool whip
1/2 T Hershey's syrup

Layer and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to soften the graham crackers.

WW Smart Points: 4

Clean Unbaked Brownies

Recipe over at  Chocolate Covered Katie

These come in higher at 9 WW Smart Points a square, because they have higher fat ingredients like nuts and coconut oil- but because they are all natural, whole ingredients I'm totally okay with that! 

  Naked Apple Pie A la Mode

 1 Apple
2t cinnamon
1/2c vanilla Halo Top Ice cream
2gm chopped pecans

Toss apple slices in cinnamon and just a bit of water and microwave for a few minutes until soft. Top with ice cream and nuts!

WW Smart Points: 2

White chocolate Strawberry Sundae

1/2 c strawberry Halo Top
1T melted sugar free raspberry preserves
1.5T marshmallow fluff with a teeny bit of hot water mixed in to make it pourable
Sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs
A few white chocolate chips

WW Smart Points: 4

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Sundae

1/2c chocolate Halo Top Ice Cream
6 crushed pretzel sticks
1T fat free cool whip
1t melted peanut butter

WW Smart Points: 3

Lemon Coconut Sundae

1/2 c Lemon cake Halo Top Ice cream
2 Trader Joes coconut thin cookies
1T unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted

WW Smart Points: 4

Berry Pie for One A la Mode


 1/2c frozen mixed berries
1/4t corn starch
1/4t sugar
Pillsbury pie crust

Toss the berries in the corn starch and sugar. For the crust, I used a mason jar outer rim to "punch out" a mini pie crust. Put crust on top of berries in a ramekin and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Top with 1/2c vanilla Halo Top.

WW Smart Points: 5


labor day

Labor Day! The bookend of summer. I have to say I'm not at all ready to let it go (I never am), but I absolutely love all that fall has to offer. The air is changing- it's cooler and crisp, the mountains are turning red as the leaves start to change colors and pumpkin everything is everywhere. All good changes. 

On Labor Day we did the short hike to Bridal Veil falls in Provo Canyon! (Along with half of Provo- is that trail ever NOT busy?!).  

We don't ever go toward the top of the falls (like some of the people in that^ picture...) I'm much too paranoid about my children falling to their deaths. You know, typical helicopter Mom stuff. Maybe when they're older. ;-)

 They loved splashing in the (frigid) water! I am not in any of these pictures because I don't enjoy frigid water. :-) Funny how kids don't care about that sort of thing.

It was such a gorgeous day to be outside!