Barney Butter Barley

You guys know how much I adore my barley breakfast bowls.

To make them I usually combine barley with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit.

Well, today I replaced the Greek yogurt with something fantastically delicious.

Barney Butter!

Barney Butter!

After cooking up some pearled barley after dinner yesterday, I stirred in a packet of Barney Butter and let it chill in the fridge overnight.

Today I added a sliced nectarine and some pumpkin pie spice to the mix.

Barney Butter Barley Bowl

Oooooh yum.

Nutty Fruity Barley

The Goods

So tasty! I literally licked this bowl clean… and then Sadie did, too. πŸ˜‰

"Barney Butter RULES!"


This breakfast was the perfect post-workout meal. Today’s gym session included a BodyPump class followed by 20 minutes of light cardio on the elliptical.

I increased the weights on the back track this week and was really feelin’ it! Today’s lunge track was a little too easy and I feel like my lower body didn’t get quite the workout I was hopin’ for. Next time, my friends! πŸ˜€

Honeymoon Update

We are officially overwhelmed.

We read every single one of your comments and suggestions last night (thank you!) and spent hours looking at the websites of various resorts.

All I can say is that if I had a bazillion dollars, I would love to stay at The Ladera in St. Lucia, recommended by blog reader Lindsey.

The Ladera

Not only is this place unbelievably gorgeous, but it also offers a bunch of activities, ranging from scuba diving to zip lining to cooking classes to rainforest hikes. Can you say heaven?

Though this place is beyond amazing, we’re looking for something more within our budget. Your comments and speaking with some friends made us think twice about the Dominican Republic, as it seems like we may not be able to do as many adventurous activities or as much exploring as we’d like to. We don’t want to feel confined to a resort on our honeymoon.

If any of you out there enjoyed a vacation that included fun activities like scuba diving and zip lining and exploring a town, etc., puh-lease let me know! I’ve heard great things about Costa Rica with regard to it being a beautiful place with lots to do.

Why is picking a honeymoon destination so hard!?

The good newsΒ  about all this honeymoon hoopla is that Ryan and I have a pact to pick a place by the end of this weekend! We’re going to be vacation-research mad men for the next few days. πŸ˜‰

Question of the Morning

What is more appealing to you: A vacation filled with activities or a vacation full of relaxation?


  1. says

    Hey – honeymoon planning is the best part of the wedding (or it was for me). Jason and I went to Paris – which was amazing – but I had a hard time letting go of the beach idea. We stayed at an adults-only all-inclusive resort near the Riviera Maya in Mexico. El Dorado Royale was gorgeous, had lots of activities and offered things to do out of the resort as well. Good luck!


  2. says

    I’m sorry you and Ryan are having such a tough time narrowing down your honeymoon choice …

    We had a hard time too and finally settled on Costa Rica because it offered both the relaxation and adventure aspects that we were looking for. We had a travel agent in Winter Park (Go Travel) help set up our entire trip. There was no additional cost to us for using her. She knew which resorts were better and organized our excursions and transportation for the entire trip.

    We stayed in Arenal and did white water rafting and then stayed at Manual Antonio and did zip lining and some hiking on a nature trail. Mixed in with that was a couples massage, lots of pool time, and even some beach time.

    We were only in Costa Rica for 6 nights but it was plenty of time to have a lot of fun with my new husband!


  3. angierunner says

    For my honeymoon, we went on a cruise where on the excursions we were able to snorkeling, canoeing, hiking in a cave where we did the zip lines, as well as have relaxing time on the ship where I went to the spa and we relaxed around the pool. I don’t know if a cruise would be better, even though ryan just went on one, but you get to see more than one place and do lots of fun adventures. I like vacations where you get to go do stuff with a little of down time ( its always nice to have some relaxing time!)


  4. Marie says

    We definitely prefer to relax since life is always so hectic as is. We actually do more now that we have kids and less time than we did before. Ahh…the lazy days. πŸ˜‰

    I’ve bought the pearled barley already and have yet to cook it; can’t wait to try it after seeing all your recipe combos!

    BTW, on my second day of morning workouts and doing pretty good. :) I was actually sitting around catching up on blogs when I read your entry yesterday and then got up, laced my sneakers up, and jumped on the treadmill. πŸ˜‰ I’m thinking I’ll finally be able to stick it out this time! πŸ˜‰


  5. Vikki says

    Those barley bowls look so good!
    I have to have a balance of activities and relaxation during a vacation. There are many times I can’t stay still!


  6. says

    I just talked to my friend how had her honey moon in Costa Rica and she said it was UNBELIEVABLE!!! This girl has been to Hawaii, St. Lunca, Mexico and out of them all, she said, hands down, Costa Rica was the best! I would seriously look into this.


  7. Jamie says

    My husband and I went to St Thomas for our honeymoon (2008) and stayed at the Frenchman’s Reef Marriott – it was great.

    We also went to Costa Rica in May and stayed at the Los Suenos Marriott in Costa Rica. It was so amazing. Ziplining, fishing etc.

    Both are recommended.


  8. Anna says

    Ahhhhh, we went to costa rica a few years ago and it was awesome!!! Lots of fun and adventure, but lying on the beach as well. It’s also insanely beautiful, and not too difficult to get to.


  9. Erin says

    I commented yesterday about Curacao but wanted to add one thing. The hotel we stayed at (Lodge Kura Hulanda) has a sister property located in the main city of Willemstad. They have a package where you can spend a few nights at their beachfront property (where they have diving, kayaking, boating, etc) and a few nights at their city property (where you can explore the city). I would definitely recommend it! We went to their sister property in the city for a day and it was gorgeous – we were only able to stay for about 6 hours, but the city was really fun to explore. The package is here:


  10. Meaghan says

    The most amazing vacation of my life was in Costa Rica– I cannot say enough good things about it, and I’m smiling just thinking about how much fun I had! I did white water rafting, waterfall hiking, volcano hiking, canyoneering (where you rappel down through waterfalls!), zip-lining, mountain biking, AND learned to surf. I definitely crammed every outdoor activity possible into my trip, but it was so so worth it! Costa Rica also had the most friendly, hospitable, warm people I have ever met. I travelled around to many different towns, moving from San Jose towards the Pacific coast, but it’s such a small country that it’s easy to hit multiple locations.

    Good luck deciding on a place– I hope you choose Costa Rica!


  11. Sarah says

    I voted for Costa Rica yesterday, so I’m so glad to see there are so many more mentions of it today! We really like a mix of relaxing and adventure, which is why we picked CR (although in full disclosure, we haven’t been yet). At the suggestion of some friends, we actually did a “mini-moon” somewhere local (a mountain resort in early fall for us) for a few days right after the wedding because we had heard people would go to these wonderful and expensive places and then sleep for 3 days. We didn’t want to spend our time in an exciting new place sleeping, and since we just wanted to be together and enjoy the little things we really wanted a slow paced few days. But that was just our preference. Plus we had to save up for the trip we really wanted. If you continue to look at CR, I’d suggest doing a beach location for the first part to relax and then heading to Arenal for some adventure. And I don’t think anyone has mentioned the hot springs in Arenal!! A friend went to Arenal for her whole honeymoon and stayed at a resort with hot springs and LOVED it. As she put it “nothing better than being in a natural hot springs at night with a drink and snuggling with your man while watching the lava from the volcano coming down!”. The springs are naturally heated from the volcano. But in Arenal you don’t have beaches. Also, scuba diving doesn’t seem to be the best in CR, at least on the Pacific side, but there seem to be so many other unique adventures. tripadvisor has alot of forum posts, you could just search for “honeymoon” as alot of people ask for suggestions of places to go. Or you could post your own with your specific interests in mind. Rainy season ends at the end of october, so your timing is good weather wise. Can’t wait to see what you pick!


  12. Nicole says

    We went to Sandals Ocho Rios in Jamaica but there are about a bazillion resorts in that area. We really truly loved Jamaica. There was so many things to do. We climbed a 900 foot waterfall, rode bikes down a massive mountain, shopped in a market, ate AMAZING food, too a water tour around one side of the island on our own personal boat, snorkeled and so much more. I would highly recommend it and the price is really not bad!


  13. KimEatandBe says

    Hey there.
    I know how it can feel to be overwhelmed. Eek! Having been to Jamaica and the Bahamas as far as Caribbean destinations go, I can honestly say that they can get a bit boring. Having just returned from a roadtrip in California in which we took the PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy.) and stopped for random hikes, good eats, scenery, etc. I think this would be an awesome honeymoon. It is pretty inexpensive (just rent a car, buy a map and stay at inexpensive…or splurge now and again, hotels along the way). So many places to stay from San Diego straight through to San Francisco. Great state park system! Anyway, I am sorry you are feeling overwhelmed, good idea on putting an “end date” on choosing a location so it doesn’t go on and on. Good luck!


  14. says

    Typically my husband and I like to balance both relaxation and lots of exploring, but for our honeymoon we wanted nothing but pure lovin’ laziness.

    Our wedding was huge and we had so many people flying in from all over and we knew we were going to be exhausted by the time we boarded that plane on Sunday! So we did just that on our honeymoon and explored a bit when we wanted to, but mostly just laid on the beach, watched the sunset/rise, enjoy the local food and so forth. It was perfect for us!


  15. Michela says

    I just recently went to Costa Rica and stayed in Arenal. I stayed on a ranch called Rancho Margot, and it is totally self-sufficient. They have animals and gardens galore, where they grow vegetables and fruits. You can literally walk the path up to your bungalow and pick a fruit off the tree for a snack. ALthough it isn’t exactly “luxurious” it is definately comfortable and has beautiful views. THey have horseback riding, ziplining, kayaking, yoga on a veranda overlooking the rainforest. I don’t think it is a honeymoon resort, but in the area there are lots of resorts that are beautiful. If you go to Costa Rica i definitily recommend paying a visit there for the day! It is right up your alley with the freshest food and ecological awareness.


  16. erin l. says

    Have you looked at Roatan, Honduras? It’s a small, semi-remote island off the coast of mainland Honduras. It’s a scuba-diver’s paradise! Roatan has the best tropical scuba diving outside the great barrier reef!! Hotels also have night dives, shark dives, and cave diving…Plus, you can horse back ride, go to some cool local dive bars, and explore a jungle paradise (I think there is one legit animal park/pirate museum)!
    Like I mentioned, it’s semi-remote (used to be really remote about 6 years ago). Basically, you dive all day, drink/dance all night on the beach and repeat the next day!
    If you do decide to look into it, I suggest staying outside “town.” Look at a hotel call the “Bananarama” and surrounding hotels. That end of the island is waaaaay nicer than the other side! Let me know if you have questions!! Good luck!


  17. Sarah W. says

    I would def think twice about too many excursions in Domincan.

    Mexico has a ton of excursions. We went for our honeymoon but didnt do any excurions – we just wanted to be bumps on a log relax and eat :) we loved every min of it!

    But def def def look into Costa Rica – I’ve heard great things about and its pretty affordable to go to costa rica – tons to do: ziplining, hot springs, volcanoes, etc :) We’re going for my mother’s retirement in April and I’m super psyched!


  18. Sami says

    Hi Julie,
    I just got married a few weeks ago and instead of a big honeymoon, we did a mini-moon. We just went to Vail, Colorado (we live on the west coast and like mountains as opposed to beaches) for 4 days of relaxing and biking. We will do a few other mini-moons or one big trip next summer – but this helped us to not feel overwhelmed as wedding planning was time-consuming enough and also this was not a big expense.


  19. Meg says

    I got married last November. My husband and I are very active. We live in Boston and spent out honeymoon in New Zealand!

    We did NZ’s north and south island – hiked and kayaked. I booked the flights (got a good deal), I booked accommodations across NZ and got a rental car. Also the NZ dollar is much weaker then our’s!

    I totally recommend New Zealand!


  20. says

    i think a good combination of the 2!!! sometimes with too many activities, you get vacation burn-out, you’ll feel the need for a vacation from your vacation! but not having too many things to do could lead to boredom. i think an even mix will let you have fun and try new things but still have time to relax and re-coop.


  21. Amy says

    Hey Julie! Love your blog. My husband and I have been all over the caribbean and Centeral America. We both wanted to go somewhere new and had a lot of trouble deciding. We had been to Cancun a couple of years earlier and fell in love with the people, culture, and of course the food! We ended up deciding on Puerto Vallarta. It was amazing. There was a ton to do. We went deep sea fishing, rode ATVs though the country and mountains, and my favorite, we went swimming we sea lions. They also have a great ziplinging that we saw when we did the atv tour. We had done zipling in Honduras and loved it, but had no time to do it in PV. I went back to PV on a cruise in April and my friends did the zipline in PV and loved it. I don’t know if they have scuba diving, but they have so much to do. We stayed at the Gran Melia in the top floor. They are relatively cheap, but the rooms are nice and if you stay on the top floor they have a nice continental breakfast and cookies and snacks during the day, and appetizers and wine at night. The pool was beautiful and they have a nice beach with beds. Good Luck!


  22. Kaella says

    Hey Julie. I would DEFINITELY recommend SECRETS in the Mayan or Gran Bahia Principe Copa/Taulum (in the Mayan) they are both near towns (Tulum has ruins you can climb/explore) and both hotels offer excursions for diving/zip lining etc) I haven’t ventured outside Mexico though, so I’m sure there are always amazing places EVERYWHERE. These places are about 1000 per person (I fly from Alberta, Canada though so probably cheaper for you) but my advice is to leave mid week (ALWAYS cheaper!) Have fun choosing :)


  23. says

    After a week of honeymooning at Riviera Maya, my husband and I went to Grand Cayman for his parent’s 30th Anniversary. It is beautiful and I even got to go on my first dive! There’s plenty of different things for you to do. We also went on an all day boat ride where we visited Sting Ray City, snorkeled and then went to Starfish Cove. You should definitely check it out. Also, one of my sisters spent a summer in Costa Rica for school and still talks about how amazing it was. I know she did a lot of different things like zip lining and such.


  24. Lauren says

    Hey Julie. My husband and I went to cancuun for our anniverary last year. We stayed at an all inclusive called the Royal which was great! They had six restraunts onsite, so there was pleanty to chose from. We also signed up for the Explore Tour which was awesome! It included zip lining, ATVing, exploring underground caves, etc. It was totally afordable and sounds like something you both would love! I would highly recommend it.


  25. says

    Julie…first, I am new to your blog and I love it! Keep up the good blogging.

    I wasn’t going to make my honeymoon suggestion because ours was so different than what you said you’re looking for. However, since you’re having trouble picking a place I’ll suggest where I went on MY honeymoon (exactly two years ago Monday Aug. 23!).

    My husband and I wanted lots of activity and culture. We flew into San Fransisco and spent three nights there. We stayed in a historical hotel, went to a Giants baseball game at AT&T Park, biked the Golden Gate Bridge, ate fresh-from-the-dock sushi, visited Chinatown and shopped til we dropped! And still slept late every day. :)

    Then we rented a convertible and took Pacific Coast Highway 1 up to Napa Valley. We found a great deal on a house we rented ( and stayed for four nights. We took a hot air balloon ride over the valley, visited 7 wineries and ate like you have never eaten before! We cooked in one night with local produce and cheeses, and also tried some of the local Napa favorites.

    I think we spent about $4,000 – $5,000 dollars for the week. Not sure what your budget is, but we didn’t say no to anything we really, really wanted to do.

    Okay, this comment is way too long already. Good luck with your honeymoon destination pick….can’t wait to hear what you and Ryan decide!



  26. elisa says


    it’s insane and has the PERFECT balance between relaxation and adventure.

    i’ve been to almost every Caribbean island there is ( worked on a cruise ship ) and even lived in south africa ( cape town ) for 4 years which boasts some of the worlds best beaches, and i just fell in love with Costa Rica.

    i am a single gal, so i do not have too much info on honeymooning but i think a few other readers mentioned websites to check out ( just google CR too, and you will have SOOO much help from trip advisor, etc…)

    it’s also very affordable and flights are cheap!

    it would be my # 1 pick ( apart from Greece and Corsica )

    have soooo much fun choosing – what a blessing to have such a “tough” choice :) enjoy beauty


    • peanutbutterfingers says

      first of all, your life sounds amazing!!! secondly, thank you for this comment! i’ll definitely take your advice into account.


    • peanutbutterfingers says

      they actually sell it in the health food section of my grocery store & i think whole foods has it???


  27. Olivia says

    BELIZE!!!!!Follow this advice and you will have the best honeymoon. Go to gorp travel website to look at going to Belize ( We stayed at the Jaguar Reef Lodge ( You can either get a through Gorp or the resort website to get an adventure package. It is a short flight to belize and relatively inexpensive, and Belize has the 2nd largest reef behind the great barrier reef. We had a blast. You can hike mountains to find a secluded waterfall, go to monkey river excursion or just scuba or snorkle. This place is not touristy at all and Belize is untouched land.


  28. melissa says

    Hi Jules!
    i love the blog! i was wondering have you ever tried brown rice for breakfast? i’ve heard of taking 1/2 cup brown rice, almond milk (or soy/regular) raisins, cinnamon and brown sugar—almost like oatmeal—but with brown rice?


  29. says

    Aruba and Seychelles are stunning! I was watching a Travel show recently, and it featured a few places celebrities had stayed. I was mesmerized for the entire hour… even more so when they mentioned the $20 000 a night price tag! The truth is Earth is so beautiful! There are so many incredible places to go: Tahiti, St Croix, Aruba, St. Lucia, Hawaii, Turks and Cacos, Mustique, Vanuatu, Isla de Ferradura… it all depends on what you’re looking for. The thing is that NO MATTER where you and Ryan go, it’s going to be the most amazing experience, because it is about celebrating the two of you, together. You will be together, and that’s all that matters!


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