I met Marla of Family Fresh Cooking!  Marla and I have been online and blog friends for almost a year now.  I “met” her right after I moved to Arizona.  Now that I am back home in San Diego, it was time to finally meet Marla!

We’re both moms, we both love working out and making healthy food choices for our families, and we both love shopping.  About halfway in between where Marla lives in the OC and where I live is the Carlsbad Outlets.   Perfect.

We met there and had a great time getting to know each other, browsing, trying to not spend a fortune, and it was a great afternoon!

Here’s a sampling of some of the stores:

Bebe, Juicy Couture, Lucky Jeans.

Shops at Outlet Mall
I can tell you the Juicy store is not much of a “bargain”.  Maybe about 30% off retail but still pretty pricey.

Banana Republic.  Went in there to see if I could find a replacement for my sweater that was stolen from my gym.  No luck though finding sweaters this time of year.

Banana Republic storefront

Crate & Barrel and Le Creueset

Crate & Barrel Storefront
Girl standing in front of Crate & Barrel store
Le Creueset storefront
  I don’t “need” anything for my kitchen but could “use” plenty.  So I didn’t even go in!
Didn’t go in to check and see if the chocolate was at outlet pricing, either!
Godiva storefront

Here’s the Three Girls posing for a picture

Two woman and young girl sitting in front of fountain

Marla had her son she affectionately calls, Nugget, with her.  Her older daughter didn’t make it today. Nugget will be 4 in December and Skylar will be 4 in February.   Skylar is a head taller.  I am 5’11” and Marla is 4’11” so to be expected.  I felt like a giant when I was standing and talking to Marla so we sat for our photo op.

Young girl and boy standing eating snacks
Young girl and boy eating snacks and smiling
 Skylar’s posing and eating her apples and Nugget is wondering what she is doing.
 
Young girl holding green stuffed animal
 She found a stuffed animal to hug

Marla is a doll and she runs on coffee on all 8 cylinders, all the time.  Kinda like me.  She is energetic beyond belief, bubbly, driven, a multi-tasking queen (aren’t all moms though!) a total sweetheart, and I can’t wait to meetup with her again!

Marla also brought me two bags of clothes for Skylar that her daughter outgrew.  I was floored with the amazing array of clothes for Skylar I just inherited!

Two bags of hand-me-down clothes

True Religion jeans in Toddler Size 4.  Wow.  Skylar now has nicer jeans than I do.

True Religion Toddler Jeans
Back of jeans
Remember my Jeans Shopping Post from the other day?  I have jean envy of my 3 year old.

And cute shirts and hoodiesgalore!

Two shirts one brown one white
Variety of shirts on countertop

Skylar’s middle name is Lotus.  A Lotus Shirt.  And matching Hoodie.  Too cute!

Black shirt with lotus flower
Flowered zip up sweatshirt

Marla’s generosity has left me speechless.  Thank you, my friend!  Skylar is set for the fall.  Now if only my wardrobe could be has as nice as my 3 year olds!

Various piles of clothes on countertop

The only thing I brought for Marla was a jar of mango juice-infused homemade kombucha.

Jars of mango juice-infused homemade kombucha
I definitely got the better end of the stick at our meetup today!

While I was unpacking all my wonderful loot from Marla, I decided to put two of these very ripe bananas to good use

Three ripe bananas on countertop

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Chocolate Coconut Princess Smoothie (vegan, GF)

makes about 12 ounces

2 Ripe Bananas
1/4 C Cocoa Powder
1/4 C Sugar (omit or use another sweetener if you prefer)
1/3 C Water
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
2 C Ice Cubes (about 10)
Optional: 1-2 Scoops Protein Powder, Cinnamon, Stevia, Agave, Dates, Maca, etc.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.

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Blend

Blended ingredients for Chocolate Coconut Princess Smoothie in blender

And Serve it Up, Princess Style

Chocolate Coconut Princess Smoothie in princess cup
Overhead of smoothie in princess cup
Everything tastes better in a Princess Cup

Remember all those Sale BananasI found?

Bundle of bananas

I put them to good use with Dessert: Vegan GF Peanut Butter Banana Bread

 Vegan GF Peanut Butter Banana Bread in baking pan
 Hand holding piece of Vegan GF Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Hate the word moist, but let’s say that this banana bread with the PB in it is the opposite of dry!
Bananas topped on baked bread

What do you make with your ripe bananas?

 

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