Oatmeal Waffles with Fresh Fruit and Yogurt

7 Apr

Sleeping in late and making big brunches on Sunday has become my favorite part of the week. Breakfast food is the best, but I never get to have any M-F because I prefer to sleep in. Waffles have become my addiction. They’re all I can think about all week!

This Sunday we went pretty crazy– we made waffles AND eggs. I found this recipe online to make oatmeal waffles and loved the idea of using yogurt instead of syrup for topping. We served these ones with Vanilla Greek Yogurt, white peaches, blackberries, and a little granola and drizzle of honey for the heck of it! Delicious.

What a great weekend! I slept in until 2 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday. I guess I needed it! Plus we got caught up on a few house chores including mowing the front lawn. It was starting to look like a jungle.

March Update

31 Mar

I feel like the only posts I’m adding these days are about my credit cards, sheesh. But I’m over the halfway mark and still going strong. I was hoping to have these paid off by summer, so I think I’m on track if I can just keep making crazy payments the next few months, even if it kills me! The only thing that stinks is I’m getting ready to book a few trips on AirBnB, so I know that will add another little chunk back onto my total. Sad!

Life lately has been pretty hectic. I’m babysitting more than ever now that the sun is starting to shine on weekends. I finally finished redecorating and organizing my bathroom, which is a project I started in December. My sister also took the last of her furniture out of the spare room, where we’ve been storing it over a year now! Next step is to keep purging  the junk stored in there and set up a game room/office, which is where most of my tax return will be going. I’m excited about that, though I know it’s going to be a pain once it gets started. We’ve also been keeping up with our weekly meal planning, which is helping me stay close to my grocery budget. For the past 2 weeks, we’ve been eating vegetarian and trying to limit the dairy we consume. It would be nice to go vegan for another month, but it’s hard to plan that much for the two of us right now. We’re already feeling better with the types of food we’ve cut out. Our only weakness is Ben & Jerry’s!

I would say so far I’m doing pretty well on 2 of my 4 resolutions! I’m still working on staying positive, which is admittedly getting harder and harder with these LONG weeks. I’m not getting enough R&R which is making me kind of cranky. I’m definitely looking forward to having next Sunday off so we can sleep in and make waffles.

Etsy – Cat Art Has My Heart

10 Mar

I spent the weekend working on the bathroom. I painted it months ago and still haven’t finished putting it back together. I finally got 2 of the 3 shelves hung this weekend and started reorganizing. I hung a clock in the corner, but now I can tell there are a lot of spaces that need a little something special. I want to get this awesome mod font print my friend put on her Etsy, so now I’m trying to figure out another smaller piece of art that will compliment it. It’s amazing how much good cat art there is on Etsy. I can’t make up my mind on what to order!

WISH LIST:

1) Illustrative Pop Art @MoDmoiselleGaline

2) Lucky Cat Maneki Neko @jessthechen

3) Paula @matouenpeluche

4) Rene Magritte @beckyzimm

5) Betty and Her Black Kitten @matouenpeluche

6) Audrey Hepburn Cat @bobogalerie

7) Cat Art Printable @paperpandaKIDS

8) Chimpanzee @berkleyillulstration

9) Another Trophy for the Mantle @AmyVaknin

10) Maneki Neko (Lucky Cat) @WitaPuspitaDesign

11) Frida Kahlo @beckyzimm

February Update

6 Mar

Another month and another progress update! I wasn’t able to make as large of a dent this time around, but next month I’ll have my taxes and a chunk of un-cashed babysitting checks. Whoowhoo! I’m a hair away from having all my balance on one remaining card and it feels great! We’ve been doing meal planning every week and eating out less, so I’m pretty proud of our spending cuts.

Oatmeal Pancakes with Peach Compote

24 Feb

Holy cow. I need to take a minute to brag about the beautiful breakfast we had this weekend. They were so delicious and super filling. I found the a photo of these in one of Rachel Ray’s magazines and tracked down the recipe on her site.

Of course, there was some amount of trial and error–I’m not used to making pancakes this thick so I burned 3 or 4 of them and had to switch pans once because the smoke from the burned butter was filling the house. Still, the overflowing sink of dishes was a small price to pay.

I’ve got to start having people over for Sunday brunch or something. It’s just too much fun to cook these huge treats on Sunday mornings!

Pretzel Bread Sliders and White Cheedar Mac & Cheese

7 Feb

We’ve been hooked on the pretzel rolls at Trader Joes but at $1 per roll, it was adding up surprisingly fast. We love bread. I stumbled across this post which showed how to make pretzel rolls in about 20 minutes using Pillsbury french bread dough. I was skeptical but we gave it a try. They are amazing! We’ve also experimented a bit using frozen french rolls to get the same effect a little cheaper yet, but they came out less pretzel-ly.

This dinner above was delicious. We made the pretzel rolls and filled with TJ’s shredded BBQ chicken, harvarti, and avocado. We also tried out a batch of this white cheddar mac & cheese which was crazy good.

Funny story– the glass bakeware used on the mac and cheese splintered in the oven and we had a few strips of glass shards on the top. I wasn’t sure if I should toss out the batch (Food Safety 101) but tried a bite and it was SO delicious I COULDN’T throw it away. We just took slow bites and did a lot of nervous prodding. Seriously, though. So good.

January Victories!

5 Feb

One month into 2014 and I’m so proud of myself! I’m trying to follow through on these resolutions and I’m doing better than I had hoped! I’ve paid off an entire 26% of my total credit card debt since the beginning of the year. WHAAAT?! It was so hard to part with that much money, but I had a couple months worth of babysitting and cleaning checks that I hadn’t cashed, so I put the lot towards my cards. If only I had that much spare money every month, I would blow through these cards in NO time! In an effort to prevent myself from losing steam, I made a chart to track my payments. I’m tracking my progress in blue, so when it’s all paid off the number wills be filled in (in the vein of these things.)

I’ve also been reaching out to the friends I’ve lost touch with the last couple years. With one of these friends, I ended up writing her a message and telling her how I felt we were growing apart and told her about some things that had bothered me. It was so hard to write that message and I almost didn’t hit send; I made sure to keep everything simple and emotionally-neutral (is that a thing?) so it didn’t come across critical. It’s such a scary thing to be honest and feel so vulnerable, but things worked out so well. She apologized and I apologized and there are no elephants in the room. I feel like there’s such a weight off my chest and look forward to reconnecting with her.

Oh yeah, I’m also keeping the house clean and have been going on evening walks with Jericho. 4 out of 4 resolutions going strong, bam! Feeling good. 🙂

Sweet Soy French Fries

3 Feb

I went to a restaurant a few weeks back and decided to try their specialty fries with my burger. They were DELICIOUS and I sat there eating them, sure that it would be an easy recipe to re-create at home. The trickiest part would be the sweet soy the fries were covered in; I was thinking of asking them what brand they use so I could try to find it at the stores. However, one Google search later and it turns out sweet soy is just regular soy + brown sugar. I eventually want to try doing this with homemade fries, but haven’t had the time to try that out.

This recipe couldn’t be easier and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser. The mix of sweet and tart is really amazing. BONUS: It’s not much more difficult than making a plain batch of fries and it definitely classes up the plate. 🙂

SWEET SOY FRENCH FRIES:

  • 1 package of frozen Extra Crispy French Fries
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup +1/8 cup brown sugar
  • 1 bunch of fresh Basil Leaves, chop 5-10 leaves
  • 1 container of Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles
  • Ranch Dressing

Throw a few servings of fries in the oven and cook to package instructions. While those are going, on a low/medium flame heat soy sauce and brown sugar in a sauce pan until sugar is completely dissolved. Be careful not to burn the sugar as it will make the sauce a bit bitter. Set aside to cool/thicken. When fries are done, drizzle with sweet soy, gorgonzola, and chopped basil. I don’t know the exact amount you’ll want on each serving, just eyeball it! Serve with ranch.

Jessy Girl’s 22nd Birthday

10 Jan

I have so many random photos from the last few months that I haven’t been uploading. Little sissy girl turned 22 and came down for her birthday last month. I was going through my camera and saw these and forgot how many silly pictures we took. There are like 50 from the restaurant, haha. I’m kind of craving a peach margarita now! Also, I love this girl so much. ❤

The cupcakes turned out pretty excellent. I used a boxed French Vanilla mix but tried this Pinterest tip to make it taste more like a homemade batter. I topped it with some caramel I made the night before in a crockpot, added a few whole pecans each, and sprinkled with sea-salt.  Yummmmm.

2014: Refocusing My Energy

2 Jan

2013 – What to say; what to say? I started off this blog to keep myself to some personal goals from last year’s resolutions. I think I started off strong but let myself get into a bit of a rut. Now it’s 2014 and I’m looking forward to a fresh start, though I know the biggest part of that will be changing my attitude and perspective. My new goals for this year:

 BE NICE TO/ABOUT PEOPLE
My job is high stress and tends to make me dislike people in general because I deal with a LOT of needy folks that occupy my time with issues that are actually small and stupid. (Sound bitter much?  Yikes.) When I come home I can’t shake it and I end up taking out my frustrations on the people I love. Not cool.

 GET OUT MORE OFTEN
I get off work, I go home, I stay inside and watch TV and go to sleep. I live in a tiny bubble. This year, I need to make an effort to get out and socialize more and re-kindle some friendships I’ve neglected recently. In addition, I need to actually get OUTSIDE. Get some fresh air. Stretch my muscles and get a good walk or run in. Pump some endorphins into my system to help regulate my moods.

 KEEP A CLEAN HOUSE
It’s hard to come home from work and be positive if the house is a sty. I can tell it really affects my mood. Bottom line is I have too much stuff and too little storage. I need to purge the things that I don’t actually need and find homes for everything else. My bedroom and the kitchen are usually the 2 worst rooms in the house. My room because I get lazy and let clothes pile up on the desk instead of putting them away and the kitchen because dishes pile up SO fast when you cook. I’ve got to start hanging up all my junk at the end of the day and making sure we keep motivated on dishes by taking them in turns and doing at least one load a day.

 PAY OFF CREDIT CARDS!
I’m still working on my credit cards. I began 2013 with $5532.65 in cards and ended wtih $4063.35. It’s not as much as I would have liked to have paid off at $1469.30, but if you think about it that’s still 27%, which seems like more of an accomplishment. I know over the summer and again at the holidays, I lost focus on my budget/payments and that slacking is what kept me from doing more. This year I’ve got to live with more simplicity in mind. I think my number one money trap is eating out too much, so I need to keep focused on buying groceries wisely so there is always something home I can whip up pretty easily.

Here goes!