Friday, May 22, 2015

5 on Friday {5/22}

Popping in quickly to share some weekend love! Thanks for hosting the link-up party, ladies!

1. Meals this week. 
I loved our week of meals! With so much travel this summer, I enjoyed this week of cooking every meal at home. We enjoyed crock pot lasagna, homemade biscuits, blueberry banana pancakes, asian marinaded salmon... so many good things :)

2. Weekend Travel
We are heading out to Savannah today. Savannah is one of my most favorite places to visit, so I am thrilled to visit the city with AR for a few days. Follow along with our trip on instagram (username: hrw1126). 

3. Chicago Trip
I am heading to Chicago for work on Monday, so I checked their weather and saw 40*!!!! That is right, FORTY DEGREES. This Atlanta girl has been enjoying the 80's this week. I am not so sure about heading up to the cold. 

4. Wedding Invitations
... have finally been ordered. The calligrapher and I chatted on the phone yesterday and I feel like we made the right choice. Now I just can't wait to see them in person! 84 days and counting <3 

5. HGTV's Fixer Upper
I know I have obsessed over this show before. I found the new episode of the Bachelorette kind of "meh", so I am back to watching people redecorate homes. Chip and Joanna Gaines are obviously my fav. Check out this adorable list of facts about them

What are you doing for Memorial Day weekend?


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Blueberry Banana Pancakes

Oh Thursday. I am sitting at my dining room table and sunlight is pouring in from the windows and I couldn't be happier. These last two weeks off after finals have been so relaxing. 

I woke up incredibly sore after some intense workouts this week, so I plan to rest this morning and head to yoga this afternoon. Hopefully it will stretch me out a bit. 

This morning, I made pancakes for breakfast - something I never do. This is going to sound strange, but I am kind of sick of oatmeal. I know, me, of all people. I haven't had a bowl in months, so I have been trying to come up with new breakfast ideas. 

These babies can be made vegan and/or gluten free, depending on your preference.*

Blueberry Banana Pancakes
inspired by this recipe from Deliciously Ella
Makes 8 pancakes

1 cup oats
2/3 cup almond meal/flour
2 bananas 
1 egg
1/2 cup almond milk 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
2 tablespoons maple syup
dash of salt 
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
olive oil, coconut oil, or butter 

Pulse oats in the food processor or blender a few times until ground into a dusty flour. Add the almond meal, bananas, egg, milk, cinnamon, maple syrup, and salt. Blend until smooth, adding a touch more milk if necessary. It should be a pretty thick batter. 

Pour batter into a small bowl and add blueberries. Stir gently to combine. 

Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to prevent sticky. Spoon out batter in half cup portions into skillet. Cook over medium heat until lightly brown, then flip, cooking other side. As pancakes finish, place on parchment lined baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. 

Top with maple syrup, more bananas, butter, or honey! 
* You may substitute gluten free oats or a flax egg in place of the real egg!

These were so filling. I ate about two and a half pancakes, topped with a little extra syrup. I plugged in all my ingredients into My Fitness Pal to get a rough estimate on the nutrition info. According to that site, each pancake has 151 calories, 6 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, and 9 grams of sugar. AR and I agreed that they were extremely filling!

what is your go-to breakfast?



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

WIAW: Crock Pot Lasagna {5/20}

Happy Hump Day!!! I am sore as can be this morning and trying to get the energy together to head to Pure Barre. I can tell it is going to be a painful class.

I am excited to share one of my favorite recipes with y'all... crock pot lasagna. This is frequently on repeat in my kitchen and I think it turns out way better than regular lasagna. And you don't have to precook the noodles, which is excellent (I always burn my fingers and break all the noodles).

I started my Monday morning with a bowl of Kashi Heart to Heart cereal with a sliced banana and unsweetened almond milk.

After breakfast I walked to my workout class: Blast fitness. Let me tell you, this was an awesome workout! It was similar to Orange Theory, in that the entire class is based on interval training. We alternated between the treadmill for sprints and the floor for strength work, doing 5 minutes of each.

During the sprints, the instructor would call out inclines and speeds, adjusting for walkers, joggers, and runners. I started with the jogger pace because I wasn't sure how intense the class would be, and then moved to the runner pace for the second set. The inclines were no joke - their treadmills went up to 30. I think the incline on the treadmill at my gym goes to 12.

After class, I walked home and cleaned up. I grabbed a bottle of Arden's Garden HotShot juice (unpictured) for some rehydration. This juice has lemon, ginger, and cranberry in it, so it is great for flushing the system.

Lunch was a snack-y affair. Leftover sesame rice with mushrooms, carrots, and cabbage. Kale chips. Siggi's yogurt.

I ran errands in the afternoon and then came home to make lasagna in the crockpot. Here is what I used:

1 package of whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 24-oz jar of marinara sauce OR homemade tomato sauce (recipe here)
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 12-oz container of part-skim ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon each of dried parsley, oregano, and basil
4 cups of chopped vegetable (squash, zucchini, brocoli, spinach, kale, etc. Here I used fresh zucchini, frozen broccoli, fresh mushrooms, and some olives)

In a large saucepan, sauté the vegetables in olive oil until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a medium bowl, mix 10 ounces of the ricotta, the shredded mozzarella, one egg, and the dried spices.

To assemble the lasagna: Spread about one third of a cup of sauce in the bottom of the crock pot. Layer uncooked lasagna noodles over the bottom, breaking as necessary to fit the pieces. (Note: it took me a few tries to learn how to fit the noodles into my oval crockpot). Spread more sauce over the noodles, then top with large spoonfuls of the cheese mixture, using about 1/4-1/3 of the cheese. Sprinkle cooked veggies on top, using about 1/3. Cover with more noodles and repeat the layers. For the very top, spread sauce over the noodles, then top with cheese.

Place lid on crock pot and cook on high for 3 hours OR low for 5 hours. Turn off and let stand 20 minutes before eating. Enjoy!

What is your favorite thing to make in the crockpot? 
Are you a fan of interval training? 

Hope y'all have an awesome Wednesday!

Thanks for hosting What I Ate Wednesday, Jenn and Arman!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Building a Wedding Registry

Building a wedding registry is surprisingly overwhelming. AR and I showed up for our first visit and were so overwhelmed. After some careful planning, we went back and finished it up in an afternoon.

During our planning, I spoke to friends and family, and did some of my own research. Gift giving for a wedding can be stressful for guests and it can be stressful for the bride and groom. Here are some of my tips on making it simpler.

First of all, you need to register. And do it early. People will want to buy you gifts and selecting gifts without a suggestion is stressful. AR and I went for our first registry round about 5 months out. When we went back this weekend (3 months out), some of the items were already purchased. If you are having parties and showers, you may need to reregister closer to your wedding.


Select store thoughtfully. At first, I was in love with Crate & Barrel, until I realized there were not any in the state of Louisiana, where many of our friends and AR's family live. It didn't make sense to do the bulk of our registry there. While online ordering is an option, many people prefer to go into the store. Chose stores that have broad geographical availability.

We selected three stores: Macy's Pottery Barn, and Target. Bride's Magazine says to do no more than five stores and Emily Post says to do no more than three. It is absolutely okay to do something non-traditional, but do a traditional registry as well. Consider completion discounts and return policies with you are selecting your stores - this can make a huge difference, especially if you get 8 out of 12 wine glasses.

Register for a variety of gifts. Traditionally, the thought it one gift per person. Emily Post, etiquette expert, recommends giving your guests options so that they can select something they want to give you. Select a variety of price ranges so that your guests have options for their budget. Pick items that you will love and use - things that you actually want.

If you register at a department store, like Macy's or Nordstrom's, they will supply a list of suggested registry items. The woman who assisted us at Macy's was fantastic. She gave us tips about selecting things, and she had many ideas for things we never even knew we needed. The Knot also has a sample registry checklist here

Break some rules. Who says you need fine china and every day dishes? If you already have a set that you like, don't register for a new one! I decided to skip the fine china and chose an every day set from Pottery Barn. While I love beautiful dishes, I don't have space for two full sets in an apartment. And to be honest, I don't do formal entertaining. So the traditional white Pottery Barn dishes will be just perfect for our needs.

Finally, your wedding is not about the gifts. It is about celebrating your love with others. Some people won't send a gift, other people will be extravagant. Don't let that determine relationships and friendships.

Where did you register?
As a guest, what do you like to see on a wedding registry? 


Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekending {5/18}

First off, let me just say I died when I wrote 5/18. The month of May is just flying by way too fast and I can barely keep up. This can be seen by how little photos I took this weekend. Oops.

Saturday, we were on a mission. We slept in, walked to the gym, made breakfast, and headed out to finish our wedding registry.

Creating a wedding registry is surprisingly overwhelming and difficult. I can't imagine doing it if you were moving out on your own for the first time. Luckily, we have both lived by ourselves for several years, so we have a lot of our basis covered.

I settled on dishes at Pottery Barn (Great White Traditional) and we finished up at Macy's. It felt so good to cross that off our list.


We came home late afternoon and finalized wedding invitations (hallelujah), so now I just need to get them to the calligrapher in the next week or so. Someone was asking me about why we hadn't sent them yet. My planner had said 6-8 weeks is tradition... what do you think? I am still 11-12 weeks out, so I wasn't worried yet. When did you send yours?

On Sunday, we got introduced at church as new members, which was exciting. I really love getting to know the other new members at our church.

Sunday afternoon was filled with book shopping, naps, and lots of frozen yogurt. Happy Monday, y'all

dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and vanilla. topped
with blueberries, oreo crumbs, and peanut butter cups.

Any good book suggestions for summer reading??


Linking up with BLovedBoston and Champagne & Suburbs for some Monday fun!