Monday, August 18, 2014

Baked Caprese Style Pinwheels


Happy Monday, Ya'll! OK, we all know that Monday's aren't really something to be excited about and normally I'm ready to pull the covers over my head and curse at the alarm clock but today I'm spending that day at the beautiful Biltmore in Asheville, NC with Food Blog Forum!

So while getting up early still isn't high on my list of things I love, I do have a little more of a bounce in my step today!


While I'm out and about (and at the conference) you can follow along on Instagram, I'm sure I'll be posting TONS of photos because that's what I do. haha ;)

Have you had a chance to visit Asheville or the Biltmore? My dad took us a few times when we were little and I remember some of it but I'm totally excited to visit as an adult!


So on this lovely Monday (what a weird word combo right? haha), I've got an easy little recipe for you! Last weekend, I was looking for something easy to whip up for lunch for myself while I was working on blog posts and scrolled past my Ham and Cheese Roll Ups post. (Which it's kind of funny that I'm posting this on 8-18-14 because I posted the Ham and Cheese Roll Ups exactly one year ago on 8-18-13!!)

Well I didn't have ham and cheese on hand but I did have what I call "Caprese Style" ingredients in the fridge!

Normally a caprese salad (or anything caprese) is made up of:

  • tomatoes
  • mozzarella cheese
  • basil leaves

I am not a huge fan of eating whole basil leaves. I feel like they should be used for flavoring dishes and I just can't get over that mentally. haha So I normally use spinach leaves in place of the basil for my Caprese Style meals!



You'll need:

  • 1 can of Refrigerated Pizza dough (or homemade)
  • 2 cups Cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes) cut in half
  • 4-6 oz Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 3-4 handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
The directions/recipe is below but before I get to that let me give you just a few notes:

  • BigBear thought that these had too many tomatoes BUT he's not a huge tomato fan. I personally wanted extra tomatoes because I was worried about them being too dry since there is no sauce. So when making these use your judgement call on what you think you'll like best. 
  • When you start rolling them, roll it super, SUPER tight or everything will start to fall apart when you slice the roll. 
  • If the rolls do fall apart a bit once on the tray, fear not! The dough should bake up around the ingredients a bit. 
  • Ranch (especially homemade ranch) would be PERFECT with these! My friend Rebecca from FoodieWithFamily.com has a wonderful homemade ranch recipe that I 100% recommend!

.
Baked Caprese Style Pinwheels
by: Angie Barrett 08/18/14                                                    (Click to Print)
makes about 10 pinwheels

Ingredients 

1 can of Refrigerated Pizza dough (or homemade)
2 cups Cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes) cut in half
4-6 oz Shredded Mozzarella cheese
3-4 handfuls of fresh spinach leaves

Directions 

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Roll out the pizza dough into a large rectangle.

Sprinkle the Mozzarella cheese over the dough

Next, sprinkle the cut tomatoes on top of the mozzarella cheese. 

Lastly, spread the spinach leaves over the tomatoes. 

Start at the short end of the dough to your right, roll the dough with the filling inside towards the left, jelly roll style. (Like a swiss roll)

Once everything is completely rolled together, place the log on a cutting board with the seam facing down.

With a very sharp knife, carefully cut two inch "rolls". (I'd say anywhere from 1 - 2 inches)

Place them on a greased baking sheet. (I can fit about 8 on my baking sheets

Bake at 425F for about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.

Yields: 12-14 rolls



Click Here to Keep Reading..... "Baked Caprese Style Pinwheels"

Saturday, August 16, 2014

100 Chocolate and Peanut Butter Recipes - Happy 30th Birthday BigBear

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG BEAR!



Today is my sweet hubby's birthday! He's been going a bit crazy that past few years over turning 30 today but I think he might have calmed down a bit. ;) I tell him all the time that turning 30 isn't bad! It just means that he's been lucky enough to survive 30 years on this earth! :)

Normally Big Bear's birthday's are filled with chocolate and peanut butter things like Mini No Bake Peanut Butter CheesecakesPeanut Butter Truffle Cheesecake (I'm pretty sure that I've made this like 3 years in a row) and Cookie Cups.

But this year he asked for a peppermint patty type cake. I'm making him a Chocolate Cake with a white peppermint frosting!

Even though he's switched things up on me this year, I can't let his birthday pass without some Chocolate and Peanut Butter goodies!!

I've gathers a huge list of  100 Chocolate and Peanut Butter Recipes to celebrate with!

Triple Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from Neighborfood Blog
Chocolate Brownie Layer Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting from Neighborfood Blog
Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cupcakes  from Food Faith Fitness
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Truffles from Food Faith Fitness
Lighter Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispie Cheesecake Bars from Food Faith Fitness
Reese's Stuffed Peanut Butter Mug Cake from The Frugal Foodie Mama
Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars from The Frugal Foodie Mama
Loaded Kit Kat Peanut Butter Brownies from An Edible Mosaic


Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Fro-Yo from An Edible Mosaic
Peanut M&M's Buckeye Bars from The Frugal Foodie Mama
Peanut Butter Mousse Pie with Chocolate Drizzle from Shugary Sweets
Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse Pie from The Frugal Foodie Mama
Peanut Butter Bars with Milk Chocolate  from The CreekSide Cook
Frozen PB&C Cheesecake from Noshing with the Nolands
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cups from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Top Left Chocolate Brownie Layer Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting from Neighborfood Blog, Top Right Lighter Chocolate Peanut Butter Krispie Cheesecake Bars from Food Faith Fitness
Bottom Left 
Loaded Kit Kat Peanut Butter Brownies from An Edible Mosaic, Bottom Right Peanut Butter Mousse Pie with Chocolate Drizzle from Shugary Sweets

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies from The Healthy Maven
Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Sandwich Cookies from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Rugelach from What Jew Wanna Eat
Chocolate Peanut Butter Hi-Hat Cupcakes from Cupcake Project
No Bake Energy Bites from Modern Christian Homemaker
Kitchen Sink Cookies from Modern Christian Homemaker
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Cookie from Modern Christian Homemaker
Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies Treats from Modern Christian Homemaker


Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream from Urban Bakes
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread from I Heart Eating
Kitchen Sink No Bake Cookies from I Heart Eating
Peanut Butter Ball Stuffed Cupcakes from Love From The Oven
Peanut Butter Cup Magic Cookie Bars from Love From The Oven
Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites from Love From The Oven
Frozen Whole Wheat Monster Cookie Dough Bites from Bran Appetit
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Oat Muffins from Bran Appetit
Almond Butter (Or PeanutButter) Chocolate Chip Cookies from Bran Appetit
Nutter Butter Stuffed Brownie Bars from Persnickety Plates
Peanut Butter Balls {aka Buckeye Balls} from Persnickety Plates
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars from Persnickety Plates


Chocolate Peanut Butter Lava Cake from The Cookie Rookie
No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bars from The Cookie Rookie
Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes from 52 Kitchen Adventures
White Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles from 52 Kitchen Adventures
Nutella & Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies from 52 Kitchen Adventures
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownie Layer Cake from Live, Love and Sugar
Reeses Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie  from Live, Love and Sugar
Snickers Cupcakes from Live, Love and Sugar
Peanut Butter Oreo Cookie Bars from I Heart Eating

Top left Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream from Urban Bakes, Top Right Peanut Butter Balls {aka Buckeye Balls} from Persnickety Plates
Bottom left No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bars from The Cookie Rookie, Bottom right Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Brownie Layer Cake from Live, Love and Sugar




Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Bread from Barbara Bakes
Peanut Butter Nutella Cookie Cups from Barbara Bakes
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes from Oh My Veggies
Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies from Jessica in the Kitchen
Buckeye Cupcakes from Lemons for LuLu
Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies from The Pink Flour
Black Bottom Peanut Butter Icebox Pie from The Kitchen is My Playground
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bites from The Kitchen is My Playground
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake from Dieters Downfall
Chocolate Crepe Cake from Dieters Downfall
Peanut Butter Cookie Smores  from The View From Great Island
Chunky Peanut Butter Cup Pudding Popsicles  from The View From Great Island
How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter  from The View From Great Island


Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies  from The View From Great Island
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana S'mores from Diethood
Chocolate Peanut Butter Hot Fudge Sauce from Diethood
Baked Peanut Butter & Chocolate Banana Boats from The Everyday Maven
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cookie Dip from The Heritage Cook
Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Truffles from The Heritage Cook
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Heritage Cook
Peanut Butter Chocolate Whirligigs from Karen's Kitchen Stories
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars from That Skinny Chick Can Bake


Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake from Inside BruCrew Life
Brownie Peanut Butter Mousse Parfaits from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Flourless Peanut Butter Cup Brownies from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Doughnuts from It's Yummi
Flourless Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies from It's Yummi

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Donuts from Dessert Now Dinner Later
Frozen Peanut Butter Cup Pie from Dessert Now Dinner Later
Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Bars from Dessert Now Dinner Later
The Best Loaded Peanut Butter Cookies from Keep it Sweet Desserts
Fluffernutter Chocolate Cake from Keep it Sweet Desserts
Funky Monkey Cheesecake Bars from Keep it Sweet Desserts
Big, Chewy, Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter Cookies from Keep it Sweet Desserts

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Breakfast Cheesecakes from Amy's Healthy Baking
Skinny Peanut Butter Brownie Parfaits from Amy's Healthy Baking
Skinny Chocolate Peanut Butter Frappuccino from Amy's Healthy Baking
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles from Amy's Healthy Baking

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bundt Cake from Like Mother, Like Daughter
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread from " From Valerie's Kitchen"
Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies from " From Valerie's Kitchen"
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie from " From Valerie's Kitchen"
Peanut Butter Bon Bons from " From Valerie's Kitchen"
PB Stuffed Chocolate Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies
Chocolate Stuffed PB Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake from Jen's Favorite Cookies
No Bake Peanut Butter Bars from Jen's Favorite Cookies
Peanut Butter Caramel Swirl Brownies from The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch
Best Ever Brownies Peanut Butter Style from The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch

Mini Peanut Butter and Chocolate Trifles from Big Bear's Wife
Peanut Butter Stuffed Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie from Big Bear's Wife
Peanut Butter Truffle Cheesecake from Big Bear's Wife
Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes from Big Bear's Wife
Chocolate and Peanutbutter Rice Krispie Treats from Big Bear's Wife
Mini No Bake Peanut Butter Cheesecakes from Big Bear's Wife
Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie from Big Bear's Wife


I think I need to get to work and start making some of these for BigBear! Happy Birthday Honey, I LOVE YOU!

Click Here to Keep Reading..... "100 Chocolate and Peanut Butter Recipes - Happy 30th Birthday BigBear"

Friday, August 15, 2014

Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas

Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas

I live right on the border of VA and NC. My friend's with little ones in VA are already posting photos from "The First Day of School" and my friends in NC have a few more weeks before they'll be packing lunches and sending their babies off to school.

My god-daughters Alyssa (9 yrs old) and Kendra (6 yrs old) live in NC so they have just a little while longer before they'll be spending their week days in a class room but they're getting ready with new backpacks, new lunch boxes and back to school lunch ideas!!

They are more than eager to help me in the kitchen and when I told them that I need some healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas they were more than willing to start shouting out ideas!

BabyBel Cheese Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas




Kendra (the 6 year old) is a healthy food nut! She loves anything that's good for her! Kendra's mom, Nikki, will make fruit salad (just chopped up fruits) and Kendra will inhale it! I hope that my future kids love fruits and veggies as much as she does!

Did you know that on our last beach trip that when she called from the back seat that she needed a snack, we tried to give her a pack of crackers and she just wasn't having that! It wasn't healthy! This child was not happy until we dug into the back of the car (into the bag where I had the food stashed) and found her an apple.

With my goal being Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas, what better way to come up with some healthy back to school lunch ideas than to let the kids pick their own healthy meals!

I took them on a little shopping trip and let them pick out their own items and create their perfect lunches!

They picked out fruit, veggies, and BabyBel Cheese (I swear that these girls could eat their weight in BabyBel Cheese!)!! They also got to pick out a brand new lunch boxes to start the school year off with!

Alyssa's Lunch Idea - Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas


We'll start with Alyssa's lunch! For her lunch she chose:

  • A Roasted Chicken Sandwich with, tomato, lettuce and white american cheese.
  • Red Grapes
  • Carrot Sticks
  • White Cheddar BabyBel cheese


Alyssa's Lunch Idea - Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas

She loved picking out the roasted turkey from the deli counter!

Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich - Alyssa's Lunch Idea - Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas


Although I tried to get her to go with some "cool bread" for her sandwich like a huge croissant or honey wheat, she was sold on the regular white bread! haha

Grapes, Carrots and White Cheddar BabyBel - Alyssa's Lunch Idea - Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas

While her sister is all about the fruit, Alyssa evened it out with fruit and veggies. She choose red grapes (she would have liked green grapes but the store was all out!), baby carrots and for her dairy she picked out the, White Cheddar BabyBel cheese!

- Alyssa's Lunch Idea - Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas

A new blue water bottles matches the purse style lunch box that she choose!

Kendra's Lunch Idea - Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas


Then it was Kendra's turn! She choose:

  • A ham and cheese sandwich on regular white bread
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • BabyBel Light Cheese


Ham and Cheese Minnie Mouse Sandwich - Kendra's Lunch Idea - Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas


 Now while some people may not think that there is anything special about a ham and cheese sandwich, Kendra was very happy with her choice, especially once she found this Minnie Mouse Sandwich cutter!

The sandwich cutter may have made a smaller sandwich but she was totally ok with that since her lunch was going to be packed to the rim with fruit!

- Kendra's Lunch Idea - Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas

Kendra wanted a variety and picked out strawberries, blueberries and bananas! For the dairy part of her lunch she choose the BabyBel Light cheese!

Kendra's Homemade Bento Box - Kendra's Lunch Idea - Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas


Now Alyssa picked out a regular square sandwich holder for her lunch box but Kendra wanted something different! Kendra had her mind made up that she needed a Bento Box!

We searched and searched but sadly couldn't find one anywhere. So she picked out this rectangle container and created her very own little bento box!

She decorated it with Minnie Mouse stickers and placed her sandwich (in the Princess Bag), her little cup of fruit and her BabyBel Light cheese into her homemade bento box.

Perfect!

- Kendra's Lunch Idea - Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas

In my opinion is it totally easier to get them to eat good when they're the ones picking out the healthy food!

Those are our favorite healthy lunch ideas - straight from the hungry tummies of a 6 year old and a 9 year old!

What is your all time favorite healthy lunch? We'd love some more ideas!!


BabyBel Cheese - Kendra's Lunch Idea - Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas


Huge Thank you to BabyBel for sending over some of their cheese for the girls! They loved it! I'm so glad that I got to meet ya'll at BlogHer Food!


Click Here to Keep Reading..... "Healthy Back to School Lunch Ideas"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Food Lion® / Box Tops for Education and a recipe for Baked Cinnamon Sugar Apple Chips! #foodlionboxtops



Do you collect Box Tops for your school? If you do, you're going to LOVE this new promotion from Food Lion®!! If you don't already collect Box Tops for your school you should start collecting them now!

What are Box Tops for Education?

You see that little "Box Tops for Education" coupon on that box in the first photo of this post? That is a Box Top for Education!


When you buy products at Food Lion® that have that "Box Tops for Education" coupon on it you can clip it out and send it to your child's school in order to earn money for that school!

Learn more about Box Tops for Education here: http://www.boxtops4education.com/how-box-tops-works




So what is this awesome offer from Food Lion®??


Between 8/20-8/26, get 25 Bonus Box Tops ($2.50 value to BTFE eligible school) when you buy ANY 6 participating General Mills® products in a single shopping visit using your personal MVP card! PLUS you'll be automatically entered for a chance to win 500,000 Bonus Box Tops ($50,000 value to BTFE eligible school).

That's a pretty awesome opportunity for your child's school!



Here are the codes on some of the products that BigBear picked up while he was at Food Lion® today!

BigBear said that Box Tops for Education always makes him think of Hamburger Helper® so he just HAD to get some. haha :)


PARTICIPATING PRODUCTS LISTED BELOW:

($50,000 value to BTFE participating school)


While we're on the subject of school, let's talk about a quick back to school recipe!

I know that there are tons of kids going back to school this week (and in the weeks to come)!

Are you looking for a delicious treat for them?



Apple chips are so super easy and make a wonderful snack!



Pack them in their lunches or have these Baked Cinnamon Sugar Apple Chips ready and waiting on them for when they get home from school!



Either way, kids will love these Baked Cinnamon Sugar Apple Chips!!
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Baked Cinnamon Sugar Apple Chips
by: Angie Barrett 08/13/14                                                    (Click to Print)


Ingredients 

2 apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Directions 

In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon, sugar and brown sugar together.

Carefully slice the apples VERY thinly with a mandoline slicer. Remove all of the seeds.

Preheat oven to 225F.

Lightly spritz a baking sheet with cooking spray. (You may need to use a few baking sheets)

Lay apple slices out onto a baking sheet(s).

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the apples.

Bake for 1 hour.

Flip the Apples and bake for another hour. Remove from oven and let cool.

Makes: TONS of apple chips

Visit Food Lion®'s Box Tops for Education:  http://www.foodlion.com/communityoutreach/forschools/boxtops









This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Food Lion® via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Food Lion® via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.

Click Here to Keep Reading..... " Food Lion® / Box Tops for Education and a recipe for Baked Cinnamon Sugar Apple Chips! #foodlionboxtops "

Monday, August 11, 2014

Homemade "Artisan" Style Bread


Have you ever made bread at home? It can be quite a scary adventure. Well maybe not scary for you but the thought of baking homemade - from scratch - bread terrified me. I kind of over came my fear a few years when I started making Homemade Beer Bread , but to be honest that's pretty much flour, sugar and beer. That's not homemade "yeasty" bread! The yeast part of bread making is what scared me!



The other day when I was at the Amish Market I bought a huge container of active yeast. Why? Because I obviously wanted to torture myself and because I'm crazy pants....



No, really I bought it because I wanted to use it as motivation! I thought that if I had this huge container of yeast in the pantry that I would HAVE to make bread or my money would go to waste. Well, I was correct.

That container of yeast in the pantry meant 2 things....#1 I needed to make bread and #2 I had an entire container to yeast to experiment with!



That's how this beautiful homemade bread was made! I was so ridiculously in love with this bread and was beyond excited when it came out right! I made two loaves of bread and BigBear was in homemade bread heaven!


The top was crusty BUT the good kind of crusty! You know, the crusty baked bread with the soft inside.

We cut it into slices and slathered homemade apple butter all over it!



This recipe will make 2 loaves of Homemade "Artisan" Style Bread. Yes, I used the air quotes when saying "Artisan" because I'm kind of on the fence about what Artisan really means. I read somewhere once that Artisan was about the person that made the bread but I always think about Artisan as being this kind of bread. You know the kind here, round/oval with the crusty outside and soft outside. So I decided to call is "Artisan" haha.



...
Homemade "Artisan" Style Bread
by: Angie Barrett 08/11/14                                                    (Click to Print)
Makes 2 loafs


Ingredients 

2 1/4 tablespoons active dry yeast + 3 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt 
3 cups water
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, extra for dusting

Directions 

In a small bowl, mix the yeast and 3 tablespoons of water, set aside. 

In a large bowl mix together the flour and salt. Add in the yeast mixture and water. Stir well to combine. 

Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for two hours. (I place my bowl in the microwave and close the door just to let it sit)

Preheat the oven to 450F. 

Place a baking sheet into the oven. Also place a roasting pan into the bottom of the oven to preheat. 

Once the dough has been sitting for about 2 hours and almost doubled in size, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and cut in half. 

For 1 half, roll the dough into a ball/oval shape. Dust with flour. Do the same for the second half. 

I place my dough balls on a square of foil and then lightly dust them with a little bit of flour. 

Sit the to loaves in a warm place and let them rest for 45 minutes. 

Pre-heat oven to 450F. 

Place a sheet pan onto the top rack of the oven (kinda middle top). Place a roasting pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Let the baking sheet and roasting pan preheat in the oven for about 30 minutes. 

Use a sharp knife and slash across the top of each loaf 3 times. Slide the bread (on the foil squares or parchment paper squares) into the baking sheet! BE CAREFUL, it's HOT!

Pour 2 cups of water into the hot roasting pan under the bread and quickly shut the oven door and trap the steam inside! 

Bake for 30-40 minutes!

Remove from oven and let cool! Bread should be hard on the outside but oh so soft inside! 

Makes 2 loves
.


Click Here to Keep Reading..... "Homemade "Artisan" Style Bread"

Sunday, August 10, 2014

North Shore - Oahu, Hawaii


The North Shore on the island of Oahu in Hawaii would totally be my top pick for places to live, if I could afford to live there that is. ;) It's beautiful and it's not so full of tourist (well not as bad as Waikiki anyways). While we traveled all over the island during our anniversary trip, we took our actually anniversary (Feb, 3rd) and drove to the North Shore! We spent the day driving around, exploring empty picture perfect beaches, searching for sea turtles, checking out food trucks and we even watched our first pro surfing competition!



Our day was pretty gloomy and raining but we totally made the best of it. Heck, I'd rather be out in the rain of Hawaii than the rain of Virginia haha. Plus the rain made everything greener, the flowers were blooming and the waves were HUGE!

Our main goal.... ok MY main goal was to find a sea turtle. I had read all about "Turtle Beach" and had spent tons of time researching spots and ideal weather conditions. Well... our trip didn't boast any ideal weather conditions for turtles to be out and sunning themselves on the beach but I still had high hopes.





As we were on the look for turtle beach we found this one. Turtle Beach isn't marked so you kind of just have to know what area to look in and just scan the road/beaches (well unless you KNOW where it is), so since this was our first time on the North Shore we were just on the hunt.

But anyways, we found this beach and spent a while walking together. There was absolutely no one out there but us.  It was so unlike the beaches near us on the East Coast of the mainland. Our beaches are always packed with people. I know that this day was kind of rainy but even on the other days that were sunny were didn't run into many people on the beaches unless we were in Waikiki. Stay away from Waikiki and you'll have almost private beaches!



After walking for a while we found a lifeguard tower and asked about Turtle Beach, they pointed us in the right direction and we made our way back to the road.  

Since we were pretty close to Turtle Beach we just left our car parked where it was and walked down the road. We saw TONS of hibiscus bushes/trees and I did find this sea turtle when we were walking! haha Isn't he cute! He was painted on the doors to someone's driveway!


After about 10 minutes of walking we found Turtle Beach ( Laniakea Beach).

It's pretty hidden but the "Turtle Watch" people that were there assured us that we were at the right place. There are volunteers (no I don't remember what they're actually called, but I think it was maybe this group: Malama Na Honu Foundation) that are there on the beach to tell people about the turtles and to keep the turtles safe. 


So we sat on the rocks and we waited. There is obviously no time table for the turtles and they could care less that there are people waiting for them on the beach haha. Since it wasn't very sunny there wasn't really any reason for the turtles to come up on the beach as they normally come onto the beach to bask in the warm Hawaiian sun!


I sat around snapping some photos of the ocean and then after quite a bit of waiting.... a SEA TURTLE!


Do you see him there? He was just swimming and floating with the waves right at the shore line.


He wasn't really interested in coming onto the beach but it was amazing to watch him swimming in the ocean so close to the beach.



After a while of watching the sea turtle swim and snapping 100000 and +1 photos we decided to head on over to Haleiwa to get lunch.



We stopped for lunch at Giovanni's Shrimp Truck.  Their shrimp scampi is delish and you HAVE to stop there when you go! I even wrote a whole post about their shrimp truck!



For dessert we drove over to Délice Crêpes and met Johnathan! There we tried some of the most wonderful crepes that transported me back to Paris! If you want to read about those, I wrote a blog post about them as well! 



So while we were eating, Jonathan (the guy there in the van) told us about this "Little Surfing Competition" that was going on right down the road. Being that we'd never been to a surfing competition we though we'd check it out! Heck, I had heard that some of the best surfers travel to the Pipeline in Oahu's North Shore to surf! We had to check it out!

Like normal it took us a few stops before we landed on the right beach haha. We first stopped here. Another beautiful, peaceful, ghost like beach. Not a soul in sight. 

So we headed down the road a bit more and stumbled onto hoards and hoards of parked cars. This must be the place. There were TONS of people there so we had to park a bit of a ways down the road. 


We walked and walked and walked to get back up to the beach where we had saw all of the cars. I kept telling BigBear that we would end up walking all the way up there and that with our luck it would be over by the time we got there haha. 



We met this little guy on our travels. There are wild chickens EVERYWHERE in Hawaii haha.


And we also came across this truck as we got closer to the competition beach! Fresh fruit and fresh coconut juice straight from a coconut!


Hawaii, yep! I'm in love!


Finally we reached the  2014 Volcom Pipe Pro!


We grabbed some shave ice and headed down to hang out on the beach and watch!


These surfers were AMAZING. I've never seen anything like this in real life The waves were so huge and they made the surfers look so super tiny!



I wish I knew who these surfers were so that I could tag them for y'all but sadly I don't. If any of you know who these awesome dudes are let me know! I tried to look it up on the website but I don't want to name anyone wrong!



I'm use to the waves at our beaches that barely hit your back, these were out of this world! Those surfers have mad skills!



Look at him go!





Let's see if I can make an animated shot for y'all!

Surfers at 2014 Volcom Pipe Pro on Make A Gif



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