Catching Up Over Cookies

by Sara on July 15, 2013

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?

IMG_4589 - Version 3

(Recipe below!)

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!

Onepeanut 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-eightInstagram 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!


Threekaraoke 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!

IMG_0623Zero – pictures of food (besides the cake) taken during the wedding. I was too busy dancing and toasting, but I did snap a photo of the Pinterest-worthy wedding cake!


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.

 IMG_4416 (1)

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.

Countlessminutes 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…

The-Notebook-the-notebook-437419_1024_768 source

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. :)

Onerecipe 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!!

Banana Bread Protein Pancakes
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 1

  • 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)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or Magic Bullet, and whiz away until smooth. The batter should be relatively thick.
  2. 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.
  3. If making the caramelized bananas, coat a pan with hot pan cooking spray, and cook bananas until slightly browned.
  4. Stack pancakes, adding caramelized bananas between the layers. Top with crushed walnuts and syrup, if desired.

*You can substitute one egg for the egg whites, however the two beaten egg whites create fluffier pancakes.
**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.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 333 Fat: 7 grams Fiber: 6 grams Protein: 29 grams

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!


Boston, 2012

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?



  • Lucie Pfaendler

    Aaaah, so good to read from you, I’ve missed you tons!! And i totally agree about IG, so fun, quick and easy, PLUS I get to stalk you there and your delicious recipes lol

    • Sara Stewart

      I feel lucky that I get to stalk YOU on IG now! Those veggie noodles you posted today looked uhhmaazing. I used to make zucchini noodles at least once/week, but I haven’t had them in months. That needs to change!

      I’m moving across the river to Arlington to a new apartment with a friend. It was waaaay past time to get out of a house full of sloppy men! 😉 Love you!! <3

  • Gina Topley

    Yay for popping in and catching up! You and I are obviously going to have lots to chat about when we see each other. :-)

    You got me hooked on the Kevita, although I am a sucker for the coconut and mojito and haven’t tried the lemon yet.

    I am sure I already gushed over the gorgeous on IG but I really love the theme. And that cake! Swoon. <3

    • Sara Stewart

      I can’t WAIT for our trip to Minneapolis! And yes, so much to catch up on! Let me know if you try the lemon cayenne Kevita – it has a spicy kick that I initially didn’t love, but now *need* every day. 😉

  • Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    Sara! So good to see you back blogging again 😀 I thought the £30 I spend on coconut water each month was bad… haha looks like you’re having a blast this summer! xoxo

    • Sara Stewart

      Tara! I miss you, and am long overdue to pop over to your blog and see what you’ve been up to! When does your vacation (holiday! 😉 ) start? xoxo

      • Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

        Ha I think you’ll be surprised (and maybe even a little terrified!) when you catch up on my blog 😉

        I go on holiday on August 3! SO can’t wait, although London has been having marvellous weather so I can’t really complain! xo

  • Sophia

    Those cookies! You are bound by email to make a batch when you visit me lol! Bellissimo! Oh it’s lovely to see beautiful pictures of all the wonderful blessings in your life right now Sara! You look adorable in those cowgirl boots and gorgeous bridesmaids dress! I’m thinking a trip to America is looking pretty likely- to see you of course ;)….. And the boy’s home town. The anticipation to notebook night is building- it looks so passionate! Ok, I’m going to go chocolate chip cookie. Ice cream cake (your description won me over) Last album I bought was pink, the truth about love. But I am loving OneRepublic- especially “something I need” Alex keeps humming and singing it to me- I can’t help but gush. Love your cottage cheese pancakes- a batch of those will be on our menu exchange too 😉

    • Sara Stewart

      Aww, thanks, Sophia! <3 I've been listening to Pink non-stop, too…And I absolutely adore "Something I Need"- even more now because whenever I hear it, I imagine a handsome man onstage, singing to a beautiful blushing woman! 😉 Hehe. I'm glad to hear you're on team ice cream cake now; it's a very good place to be. However I imagine that Italian gelato cake would even more lovely! I'm still dreaming about gelato-filled brioche, too…Maybe your Parisian uncle could add gluten-free brioche to his list of experiments to try?

      Sending you huge huge hugs! I owe you a long overdue email, too… It may not happen tonight, but definitely tomorrow! xoxoxo <3

  • Coco

    hi sweetie, what a lovely surprise to see your post in the reader! I miss you so much!!!!!

    Happy to know that you’ll be back soon, I’ll be traveling a lot in August, but definitely let’s meet up in september! :)

    1. summer is good and we’re leaving for holidays (hawaii) this wednesday. Then I have two business trips, Managua and Santiago de Chile.

    2. not a big fan of cookies, but I can take anything with chocolate.

    4. too few, maybe 1-2?

    • Sara Stewart

      I miss you, too, Coco! I hope you have a wonderful time in Hawaii!! It’s one of my favorite places! Which island will you be visiting? I look forward to hearing all about your adventures there (and in Managua) when we meet for coffee in September! xoxo

  • Arman @ thebigmansworld

    Those pancakes look great, they’d go down so well after a tough workout. Actually, they’d go down well anytime!

    Thats great that you are using your personal training studies to devise a personal training plan! I’ve always been keen to write myself one, but often stuck to ones I’ve seen online or popularised in the hopes of bulking up, but seeing how affective they have been.. :p I just came off a 12 week circuit style program, but now back to a push.pull.legs split, 5 days a week (I omit one of the leg days!)

    Enjoy your trip to South Carolina!

    • Sara Stewart

      Yeah, the pancakes are one of my favorite pre or post-workout meals! Sometimes I make the batter ahead of time, and then throw it on the griddle to speed up the cooking process.

      I only do one leg day each week, too…Two days is way too much for me!

      • Arman @ thebigmansworld

        So I pretty much hunted down nearly ripe bananas purely to make this recipe, and I must say, you have a winner there. Amazing. And you can’t even taste the cottage cheese! Thanks for it!

  • Natalie @ Lift,Sleep,Eat

    Ahh its so nice to see a post from you! Glad you’re doing ok and enjoying the summer!! It looks like you’ve been having some fun, the wedding looks beautiful & that cake and ice cream mud wow!

    I can’t say I’ve ever had a peanut butter jar explosion like least you had some fun cleaning it up :p
    So my summer..well I don’t go to Rome til the end of September so its still quite a way away unfortunately :( excited though..generally just been doing the same old same old getting on with life, although I did go for a delicious afternoon tea last week!

    Cookies – chocolate chip by far…delicious melty goodness mmm.
    I actually haven’t bought an album since I was like 9!! Scary thought!!
    I’m strength training 3-4 times a week now and then doing cardio 2 days a week; i’ve just recently started a new strength powerlifting style workout so hoping to massively increase my weights :)
    Enjoy the rest of your summer <3 xxxx

    • Sara Stewart

      Thanks, Natalie! Oh girl, September will be here before you know it! I think part of the fun of taking a trip is the anticipation, anyway…So enjoy the planning!

      I’ll be curious to hear how you like the strength powerlifting workouts – they sound great! xoxo <3

  • AnnaTheApple

    Yay lovely to have a post from you! Man I need to get onto Instangram…oneof these days I promise! It’s on my to-do list hehe.
    Glad all is going well in your life. It looks like you’ve had some good fun – and eats. Look at that CAKE!!!! Ahhhh I have to admit that one of my favourite things about a wedding is the cake #noshame
    In fact I think Ben and me openly admitted this is why we got married…haha so joking. Though the cake was such a big deal to us.
    Love the bridesmaid outfit as well. So quirky!
    I don’t buy albums anymore, but I do listen to Spotify and I’m loving Bastille at the moment (UK band…not sure if they’re in the US??)
    I am plannng on really getitng back into strength training…again, on my to-do list hehe. xx

    • Sara Stewart

      You most definitely DO need to get on Instagram!! Make sure to let me know once that happens, mmk? 😉

      Agreed – wedding cake is amazing! What type did you and Ben choose for your wedding? I bet it was incredible, especially because you’re the queen of cakes. 😀

      I haven’t heard of Bastille, but I’m going to check them out on iTunes right now…I love discovering new bands! xoxo

  • Danielle

    I was so excited to see your new blog up! I miss you! Hope you are having the most wonderful summer ever :)

    • Sara Stewart

      I miss you, too, Danielle! <3 I'll be popping by your blog soon to say hi! xoxoxo

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    AHHH Sara!! I’m so happy to see that you’re doing well, I’ve missed you! But, t-minus less than 2 months until I get to see your pretty face in person!

    So, you look awesome in that wedding. The colour is so pretty on you and the boots are adorable! And wow, that cake. And the mud pie ice cream cake – it’s so freakin’ hot here right now, that all I want is ice cream, all the time.

    I can’t say I’ve had a peanut butter explosion like that…I’m a careful stirrer 😉 But I had no idea actual peanut butter stirrers exist, that’s kind if hilarious.

    And…those pancakes? I think I know what my breakfast is going to be tomorrow 😉 And right now I’m training 4 days a week, but I’m going to check out your program now!

    Again, so happy to see that everything is great for you right now! <3

    • Sara Stewart

      Ahh, thanks, Sam! You flatter me so! 😉 I’m definitely counting down the days till we meet in Minneapolis! *Squeals*

      Let me know if you try the pancakes – I think you’ll love them! They’re also amazing topped with peanut butter or almond butter. XOXO <3

  • TheHealthyMaven

    So excited to see you pop up on my bloglovin! That pancake recipe looks divine! I’ve been eating pancakes like it’s my job lately!

    I am currently loving Maklemore and Ryan Lewis right now. On repeat!!

    I try to get in 2-3 days of strength training a week. Just started training for a half-marathon so my strength training has kind of been put on the back burner. Your program looks awesome though!

    Can you please send me a package of those chocolate chip cookies?!?!? I NEED those in my mouth ASAP!

    • Sara Stewart

      I *just* downloaded the Macklemore album on iTunes – love it! And a big YES on the chocolate chip cookies. 😀 Send me your address! 😉

      Best of luck with the half-marathon training; I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes!

  • janetha

    i would much rather be on IG than blog these days! it’s just so much easier and more fun, haha.
    1. no complaints
    2. choc chip; ice cream cake
    3. niki & the dove
    4. 5


    • Sara Stewart

      Yep – totally agree with you about IG! People are professional bloggers, why not professional IGers? 😉

  • Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile

    That peanut butter explosion has never happened to me! haha I am just verrry careful when I stir. Oh, and if you put the pb jar upside down for a few hours before you stir, the oil kind of mixes itself and makes your life soo much easier! I am drooling over those cookies and pancakes. So glad to hear you are doing well!!! Thank goodness for IG. I love it <3

    • Sara Stewart

      I definitely need a good dose of your peanut butter-stirring patience! 😉 Even when I turn it upside down, it still spills over the edges! This past time I forgot to turn it over, and *needed* peanut butter right that SECOND, so I had even a larger explosion than usual. :-p Haha!

      I’ve been thinking about you, and hope you’re healing well! xoxoxo

  • Sally

    Great summer recap with so many fun memories! That chardonnay/lemon/huckleberry wedding cake was the best ever! And I love your new recipe format…so easy to print and save! I love the two quotes you ended with! xo

    • Sara Stewart

      I think the wedding cake needs to be on Pinterest! Maybe I’ll add it to one of my boards. 😉 xoxo!

  • Ashley

    Great summer update. 14 Days! Will you (please) pack those delicious chocolate chip cookies? I can’t wait for our reunion! Best of luck with your move. xoxo

    • Sara Stewart

      Squee! 14 days!! SO excited to be reunited with my favorite travel buddy. 😉

  • dave

    Missed the weekly posts, it’s been a busy summer and only half over.
    My stomach started growling when I saw the pancakes.

    • Sara Stewart

      Come over some morning and I’ll make you banana pancakes! <3

  • Claire @Keeping Up With Claire

    SO HAPPY to see you back in the blogging world! I’ve missed your posts. It’s nice to see your pretty face back here! I’m in the midst of the busiest part of my summer- my brother is coming to visit this week, we’re moving the next two weeks, we go to Atlanta the first week of August, and then I have a surprise party planned for Nick the following week with his friends all flying in. So much to do!

    I think I’m going to go with ice cream cake here. I’m not a big fan of frosting and too much cheesecake makes me sick, so for optimum dessert eating, ice cream cake works for me.

    I honestly don’t remember the last album I bought-probably Kenny Chesney or Luke Bryan? I am loving all of the summer songs right now-Treasure by Bruno Mars, Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke and Pharrell, and the list keeps going .

    I strength-train 2-3 days a week. The trainer that I learned under while I worked at a gym used to always say “Strength-train once a week to maintain but 2-3 to see results.” So I follow his rules!

    Hope you’re having a fabulous start to the week love!! <3

    • Sara Stewart

      Haha, I totally agree with your optimum dessert-eating philosophy! I’ve never loved frosting, and even though I adore cheesecake, I can only eat a few bites before I have to stop. But ice cream? Oh that’s a *completely* different story! I’m an ice cream (and froyo) eating machine! Someday we’ll have an epic froyo party together…Which reminds me, when will you be in Maryland next? I’m heading back to DC this week, so let me knooow!

      I hope you have TONS of fun with your brother, and that you enjoy Atlanta and that surprise party! Nick is going to love it! xoxoxo

  • Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

    I’m so excited to see a new post from you! Even though I currently have your email sitting in my inbox waiting for a response… oops. I promise I’ll reply soon! <3

    I'm so glad you're having such a great summer and living with no regrets. I mean, how can you regret ice cream cake, right? 😉 My favourite kind of cake is definitely cheesecake!

    I adore Phillip squared (haha I love it) too! I'm actually seeing him in concert with John Mayer in August and I'm so pumped!

    Oh gosh I can't believe it's been 9 years since The Notebook was released. Where does the time go?? That movie is definitely the best romance story ever. I just recently watched some other Nicholas Sparks movies (Safe Haven and The Last Song) and they were good, but not as good as The Notebook.

    Have a good week girl and expect an email from me soon!! :)

    • Sara Stewart

      Absolutely no worries about the email; I know you’re super busy! <3 Ahh, you're going to have a blast at the Philip Phillips concert! Maybe I'll hop a plane to Canada and join you. 😉

  • Miss Polkadot

    Girl, you know I missed you – okay. not really since we were still chatting but it’s still nice to see you posting here.

    With all you had going on already summer can hardly get any more marvelous for you :). Once again – because it bears repeating: you’re totally rocking the boot-and-bridesmaid-dress look. And yes to yellow in general.Three karaoke songs sung? Now you just have to tell us which ones!

    I just returned from my last (day-)trip to Hamburg where I met up with one of my cousins whom I hadn’t seen in months. Catching up over ice cream was awesome.

    Regarding your questions it’d be all about the chocolate chip cookies and ice cream cake for me.

    Can you believe I’ve neither watched The Notebook nor listened to Philip Phillips before? I’ll obviously have to change that ASAP.
    I hope your week is off to a great start and I promise I’ll reply to your last mail the next days!

  • lindsay cotter

    i love the life you are living now. And you look great! still wishing you were coming to visit. I’d pay for your Kevitas! and mine! hehe

    • Sara Stewart

      Aww, thanks so much, Linds – that means a lot coming from you! <3 I promise I'll get to Austin sometime…however I don't promise that I'll let you pay for the Kevitas. 😉 I'm sure we can figure out a deal, though…how about I cover the wine?

  • julie

    awwwww so glad you’re doing so well!!! i know can you believe how fast the summer is going! i’m in the middle of moving out too so it’s a biiiiit crazy! plus I’m going to Cali in a week which works out really annoyingly with the timing of moving out, etc! Enjoy the rest of your summer lady! xoxo

    • Sara Stewart

      Eep! When it rains it pours, right?! Hopefully you’ll be able to totally kick back and relax once you arrive in California…you deserve it. Which part are you going to? I grew up in both SoCal and NorCal, so if you need any travel tips, definitely let me know! Good luck with the rest of your move! xoxoxo

  • Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover!

    You should store the PB jar on it’s side or upside down before mixing – makes it so much easier! I *hate* when the jar explodes because then it stays oily :-(

    Chocolate chip cookies. And carrot cake (haha!)

    • Sara Stewart

      Aargh, the explosions occur even when I turn the jar upside down or on it’s side. Waaah! I think it’s because I’m an over-zealous mixer…the bottom of the jar is always rock hard, and instead of just letting it be (which I should do), I try to chip away at it. 😉

      Mmm…I love carrot cake, too!

  • Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl

    I am so glad to hear that things are going well for you, and I cannot wait for your official return in September!! P.s. those pancakes look amazing and I am LOVING those bridesmaid dresses (WITH the cowgirl boots!!). Oh, and I would LOVE a cookie!! :)

    • Sara Stewart

      Thanks, girlie! <3 Come on over…the cookies are awaiting your arrival! xoxo

  • Luann

    I’m from Charleston, so let me know if you need any recommendations. You’ll love it!

    • Sara Stewart

      Thanks so much, Luann! I may shoot you an email before I go! <3

  • Khushboo Thadani

    Oh darn…my earlier comment got deleted so here’s take 2:

    I’m SO glad to see a new post from you, Sara..I really do miss you presence in the blog world! I’m already on the next flight there..both to see you and those cookies- they look divine! I have a soft spot for gooey choc chip cookies and ice cream cake..although lord knows I can almost never turn down cheesecake either!

    Those banana bread protein pancakes look fabulous. I love that they call for cottage cheese instead of protein powder. My first stint with oatmeal pancakes actually involved cottage cheese and despite my initial hesitation, they tasted fabulous and so fluffy! I can definitely vouch for this recipe :)!

    Glad to see you doing so well Sara and hope the rest of your July only gets better!

    • Sara Stewart

      Girl, you better hop on that plane! I’m mixing up some cookie dough just for you, so don’t let me down! 😉 <3

  • purelytwins

    Philip Phillips love them too!!

    and chocolate chip cookies all the way :) we would love some of those cookies right now :)

    • Sara Stewart

      Hugs back atcha, ladies! <3 Cookies are in the oven…come on over!

  • Courtney Violet Bentley

    Ok so for sure cookies with peanut butter on top :) I’m so happy you came back and did a catch up, I am loving your summer! Chocolate pie made my mouth water lol thank goodness for instagram so nice staying in touch with you! I totally agree ig is so much easier and less tome consuming but something about blogging just is better. I am sending you lots of love on your move xoxox

    • Sara Stewart

      Thanks so much, love!! I miss you, and need to do some major catching up on your life! When is the big move? Huge hugs! <3 xoxo

      • Courtney Violet Bentley

        AUGUST 20th! Can you believe it! Its literally COUNTDOWN! I may take a week off blogging to spend more time with my friends before the BIG move! You have showed me that no matter what taking some time off can be good for the soul! When are we having a cookie date! Wish we lived near each other!xoxo

        • Sara Stewart

          Squee! Just over a month away!! I definitely encourage you to take some ‘me time’ before you leave. It will help you relax, and allow you to simply ENJOY an obligation-free week or two with your friends and family. <3 It's SO worth it, and all of your blog friends won't go anywhere – promise! I think taking a break is really healthy for the mind, body, and soul…I've felt so rejuvenated this summer!

          Oh girl, I SO wish we lived closer!! Someday that cookie date will happen…whether it's in DC, LA, Thailand, or some other part of the world! <3 xoxoxo

  • Melissa @ Mouthwatering Morsel

    gahhh I just died reading your post. not because it was long (it’s not long enough) … but because I loved it. missed you lil missy! haha I might do distance education for something while working full time AND my blog will be going through a lot of changes like new blog name and self hosting. I am unsure still but I think it’s going to go down. haha any ideas on how you came around to it? and I would love the chocolate chip cookie recipe. that looks SO good!

  • Rach

    HIIIIIIIIIIEEEE! Glad to hear from ya! :) Those cookies look unbelievable! They remind me that I need to bake some SOON! Also, I’d never heard of a PB stirrer like that! Too cool!

  • Carrie Purchase

    Hey girl! How much longer are you in Boise for? That workout split looks great! I’m studying right now for the NASM exam too- I’m only only chapter 4 though so I’m not too far into it. I think I picked the worst season to study- Summer is too much fun to sit at home and study!! haha I just switched up my workouts to upper body, lower body, cardio and repeat. I was kinda getting bored so hopefully I will still see gains with this split. For desserts I would rather just have some Fro-yo over all that stuff! :)

  • Brittany @ Balance and Bananas

    AHHH you’re back!! Yes yes yes!! I’ve definitely missed this blog! Those banana pancakes look amazing and I need to try them stat! Bananas are the best, I’m so pumped, my mama’s going to make me a banana cream pie for my birthday!! :) Also, I”m excited for your workout program!! I definitely can’t wait to check it out :) Love to hear that you didn’t stress over that cake…because it looks delicious and everyone deserve a piece of cake. Honestly, what is life without a little balance? I totally hear you about summer/life speeding up! I can’t keep up! So much to do and I feel like there’s zero time! But, I’m so excited to be in DC in the fall! We definitely have to meet up! I can’t wait! Hope you’re enjoying your summer so far, you deserve to! xo

  • Lisa

    I missed you!!!!!!!!!!
    It was so nice to hear from you with a blog post.
    Hm, I’m not a huge cookie lover so I’ll go straight to the cake and choose ice cream cake since it’s the only kind I like:)
    My workouts haven’t been completely stellar lately I maybe work out 4-6 times per week sometimes less or more I guess it depends. I’m surprised by how much this hasn’t bugged me.
    And those banana bread pancakes!!!! I want. Now I need to find a replacement for cottage cheese. Dang lactose.

  • Amanda @ A Latte Learn

    Your pancakes always look unreal! Can’t wait to try that recipe! Yum, yum!

  • Honey What’s Cooking

    I’m gonna buy cottage cheese tomorrow so I can try your pancakes… sucha great source of protein. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • Sara Stewart

      I hope you enjoy them – they’re one of my favorites! Definitely let me know how they turn out! <3

  • Hayley

    Girl can I just say I friggin love you! You are so supportive of me and I look forward to your IG post everyday and you commenting on my pics! Anyways, I gotta try those pancakes ASAP! They look amazing! And now I will say I am defiantly a chocolate chip pb girl too!! That combo never fails! And I am loving country music right now! Anyways I am soooo glad that you came back to blogging!! I can not wait to read more!!

  • Allison

    You’re not coming back, are you?

  • Lana

    Please come back Sara- you are missed! You are a refreshing honest and balanced blog (in my opinion the best voice around the helathy blog world!) hope your well xoxo

  • 01Sarena14

    Amen to the IG statement! I am so with you! I absolutely love it for the same reasons! I love seeing all your creations on it daily! Looks like you’ve had some pretty great stuff going on! I love seeing you so happy! xoxo

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