Well, hello there!
Holy moly I’ve missed you all!
In fact, I’ve missed you sooooo much, I turned on my oven for the first time this summer (seriously – the sweltering 100+ degree temps in Boise have made me want to drink smoothies aaaall day long), and baked you a batch of cookies.
Come and share one with me? Pretty please?
Or, if chocolate chip cookies aren’t your thing (but seriously, how could that be possible?), might I be able to tempt you with a stack of banana bread pancakes?
It’s been over a month since I announced my blogging break, and even though the time has flown by (umm, summer, can you pleeease slow down?), to say there’s been a slight void in my life without you guys in it would be a MAJOR understatement. Thank goodness for kitchen therapy to fill the void! In all seriousness though, the outpouring of supportive comments, tweets, and texts I received when I decided to step away for a few months only made my heart swell. Ya’all are the BEST. I’m so grateful for every single one of you! <3
I wish I could report that my break thus far has been filled to the brim with epic adventures and fancy schmancy meals, but the reality is my eats and activities have remained pretty darn normal.
I’m still flipping banana bread pancakes for breakfast, studying for my NASM exam, and working on mastering my fiercest game face at the gym.
What’s different is that life’s speed dial has been cranked up a bit. I’m wrapping up my Boise visit (more like a temporary move) this week, flying back to DC, packing up my room, and moving…all the way across the river! Needless to say, I’ve been scrambling around like a mad woman trying to get organized this week! More details to come when I make my blogging return, but I promised you all I’d pop in to say hello in July, so here I am!
Since I have a tendency to ramble on and on and on in recap posts, I’m going to save your sanity (and my own ), and do this update by the numbers-style. However instead of summarizing a weekend, this one will cover the things I’ve been doing, the products I’ve been loving, and the recipes (just one, actually), I’ve been cooking over the past month.
Ready or not, here we goooo!
One – peanut butter explosion last week. I promise I have more exciting topics to discuss with you today than messy nut butter jars, but I’m curious, does this happen to any of you on a regular basis?
I know situations like this could be avoided if I’d just give in and buy the “regular” peanut butter that I grew up with—you know, the kind that’s ready for spreading the second you open it? But I’m sticking to my guns on this whole natural-oils-that-separate thing, gosh darnit.
Peanut butter stirring explosions could also be avoided if I wasn’t such an overzealous mixer. Or, if I bought one of these nifty peanut butter stirrers. But then again, if I had a stirrer, I wouldn’t get to do this:
Cleaning up exploding peanut butter jars is so much fun!
Fifty-eight – Instagram photos taken. I couldn’t cut social media out of my life completely, so instead of sharing my eats, recipes and workouts on the blog, I’ve been IGing them.
What I love about Instagram is that it’s SO easy. Just take a pic, post a message, and bam – done! I’ve discovered an extremely inspiring community there, too – very similar to the blog world, but without the time commitment. Win-win! However Instagram will never replace blogging for me; I’m way too chatty to be limited to small word limits.
Twenty two – hours spent road-tripping to Montana to celebrate a wedding. Fact: I have a hard time sitting still for more than an hour, so long car rides require very frequent stops along the way. And on this particular trip “stops” meant run-down gas stations and porta-potties.
The scenery sure was beautiful, though!
Three – karaoke songs sung at a cowboy bar. I don’t hold back when there’s a karaoke opportunity! The bridesmaids took Katie out for a wild bachelorette night (not really) on the town three nights before the big day, and a few of us tore up the stage.
The action shots are too incriminating to share, but this one was taken before we made our debut.
Songs sung: Sweet Home Alabama (in honor of the bride’s origins), Love Shack, and my absolute favorite karaoke song EVER – Red Neck Woman.
One - pair of cowboy boots worn on June 22nd – the actual day Katie tied to knot!
I wasn’t sure how I’d like the boot-and-bridesmaid-dress look, but it ended up being pretty cute!
Seriously. I want my cake to look just like that one.
One – minute it took for me to devour my (photographed!) piece of mud pie ice cream cake at the wedding reception dinner the night before.
Oh c’mon! You know I’m more ladylike than that! BUT, seeing as it was ice cream cake (read: it was melting a mile-a-minute), I had to eat FAST.
Twenty-two - seconds spent regretting the above shovel-in-the-face action.
Twenty-two million—seconds spent feeling grateful that, “cheat meal” regrets aside, I truly enjoyed that ice cream cake.
Countless – minutes spent listening to this crooner over the past month.
Mmmm. Loooove me some Phillip squared (get it? Philip Phillips? Heh.)
A few weeks ago, my mom and I swung by Target for a little Friday night fun. Translation: we needed to get life’s necessities – you know, toilet paper and Lindt chocolate. However, as all well-informed shoppers know, she who enters Target for two items, leaves with 20. One of those items was that CD. I honestly can’t remember the last time I purchased a CD. Maybe 1999? Kidding. It was 2003. Nevertheless, this album is totally worth the $13.99 price tag because I now get to stare at Phillip’s gorgeous face every single day.
One - workout program written. I designed my very first strength-training program…for myself! Even though I’m not yet officially NASM certified, I’ve learned quite a bit about designing fitness programs through my studying thus far, and figured I might as well be my own guinea pig. If you’re interested, you can click on the image below to see what my current regime looks like.
Nine - years since The Notebook was released in theaters. Ooof. This makes me feel ridiculously old! I found the DVD sitting at the back of my mom’s desk drawer the other day, and took a stroll down memory lane…
I’m admittedly the epitome of a hopeless romantic, so maybe I’m not the best person to judge what makes a good romance really good (because they all are!). However, I stand by my belief that The Notebook is one of the most romantic movies ever made, not to mention a perfectly juicy summertime story.
One – recipe I have to share. I think you guys already know that I adore pancakes. Any type. However I definitely do play favorites. A few months ago I posted a recipe for banana bread protein pancakes, and while they were good, this updated version is even better.
The additional teaspoon of baking powder and 1/4 cup of cottage cheese makes them extra…fluffy!!
- ½ cup cottage cheese
- ½ banana, mashed
- ½ cup oats (or quick oats)
- 2 large egg whites*
- 1 t. baking powder
- 1-2 T. almond milk
- 1 packet stevia**
- Caramelized bananas: ½ banana, sliced (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or Magic Bullet, and whiz away until smooth. The batter should be relatively thick.
- Eat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray (I like coconut oil cooking spray) or butter. Once the pan is hot, pour batter into pan to create four pancakes. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to make the pancakes in two batches. Once small bubbles have formed on the surface, flip pancakes. Cook another minute, or until done.
- If making the caramelized bananas, coat a pan with hot pan cooking spray, and cook bananas until slightly browned.
- Stack pancakes, adding caramelized bananas between the layers. Top with crushed walnuts and syrup, if desired.
**I used stevia, however for some, the banana alone may provide enough sweetness. I suggest tasting the batter before you cook your pancakes, and adjusting accordingly. Honey is a delicious substitution for the stevia, too.
Eighty-four - dollars spent each month on Lemon Cayenne Kevita waters. What was once an occasional treat, has become a must-have morning obsession. I love this drink’s slightly fizzy, spicy kick, and its tummy-soothing probiotic benefits.
What I don’t love? The price tag!
Fourteen – days before I hit the streets of Charleston, South Carolina with this lady!
If you have any must-do, must-eat, must-see recommendations, please let me know! I’ll do a recap of my adventures there once I’m back!
Two – new Pinterest-found mantras:
Countless – number of things I’m grateful for today, in this crazy marvelous adventure called LIFE.
Make sure to stop by Healthy Diva Life today for a good dose of happy inspiration!
I’ll pop back in soon with a Charleston and moving recap. Until then, I wish you a relaxing and joy-filled week!
HUGE hugs and lots of love!
p.s. I apologize for being MIA in the blog world over the past month! I’ll do my best to catch up on each of your blogs this week!
I want to know…
1. How the heck are you?! Fill me in on what you’ve been up to this summer! Do you have any trips on the horizon? Where’s the last place you traveled?
2. Pick your favorite:
*Cookies: chocolate chip, sugar, or peanut butter?
Definitely chocolate chip, but if I can snag a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie, all the better!
*Cake: ice cream cake, “regular” frosting-covered cake, or cheesecake.
I can’t choose between ice cream cake and cheesecake! Sooo, I’m going to say ice cream cake made with cheesecake ice cream.
3. What’s the last album you bought? Who are you listening to/loving right now?
4. How many days/week do you strength-train or workout?