Recap of My Christmas and New Years

2 Jan

Happy New Year! I’m back to blogging in 2014 and wish you all a blessed year!

Here’s a recap of my holiday season:

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I’ve been experimenting with a new camera, so I took a lot of pictures over Christmas eve and Christmas day.

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Our “tablescape” (as Sandra Lee would call it) was colonial-inspired this year. My mom found this wooden block centerpiece  that someone had gotten in Colonial Williamsburg. I has nails sticking out that you impale apples and a pineapple on and fill in with decorative magnolia leaves or holly. I think it looks pretty, but some of the family thought it was strange.

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We had a typical Christmas eve dinner with turkey, stuffing, gravy, green beans, and baked cinnamon apples.

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Yum, pies for dessert!

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We had a leisurely Christmas morning all waking up late, having brunch in the afternoon, and then opening presents. The brunch menu consisted of walnut coffee cake, fruit ambrosia, sausage and bacon, and cheese strata.

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I got boots from Nashville, the country music capital itself!

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I spent New Years eve at a Christian conference for college students in the south-east. It was a blast and I got closer to many students on my campus. I am so thankful that my parents let me take a few days from being at home to go to it. We prayed in the New Year and I am hopeful that God has great plans for 2014.

Traveling and Disney!

17 Jun

I am currently sitting in the Orlando Airport. Our flight home has been delayed indefinitely due to maintenance work. :( So, I will take the time to update you all.

This weekend I went to Disney World for a family friend’s wedding. Despite my dislike of large crowds, I had so much fun! The last time I was at Disney World, I was 6.

We spent all day Saturday at the Magic Kingdom park and then went to the Polynesian Luau for dinner where the entertainment was hula dancing and fire dancers!

The wedding was lovely and Mickey appeared at the reception to help cut the cake!

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Disney’s All Star Movie Resort

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Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney where we ate dinner Friday night. I ordered a delicious Cobb salad and had a tropical smoothie as a treat!

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Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

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Alice’s Teacups

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the new Belle’s castle

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Mickey shaped ice cream bar- this reminded me of childhood be cause my parents used to always buy them at the grocery store, but they stopped selling them. When I saw them in the park, I just had to get one as an afternoon snack.

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Polynesian Luau

It was a little difficult trying to eat healthy at Disney, but totally possible with some self control. So many places had burgers, chicken fingers, and fries. (you know, kid-friendly foods that are not so good for you). For lunch at the park, I ordered a chicken sandwich that came as just a grilled chicken breast on a bun and you could choose apple slices instead of fries as a side, which made me very happy. They had lettuce, tomato, pickles, and even sautéed mushrooms as toppings, so I loaded up my sandwich with some veggies. I tried to stick to water for drinks to stay hydrated in the oppressive Florida heat.

I also was surprised at the options in the airport for food. For a late breakfast before our flight I got some fresh fruit and a bag of pretzel chips to share with my mom. They had several healthy options like salads, oatmeal cups, and Kind granola bars just in this one store I wet to.

Overnight Oats- Elizabeth’s Edition

11 Jun

I had never tried overnight oats before this past weekend. I always read blog posts about people eating “overnight oats”, so it was on my list of things to try. Though I was a little apprehensive about the chia seeds, not really sure what they were, I have to say this is one of my new favorite breakfasts. I can make it ahead of time and have a jar in the fridge to take with me to work for breakfast/lunch. The chia seeds make the consistency very thick, so I like to add coffee creamer or milk in the morning. You can also add crunchy toppings like granola, nuts, dried fruits, or may favorite- crushed graham crackers. I made up my own recipe since the ingredients are basic and you can tailor the amounts to your desire. So this is how I like it:

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Ingredients:

1 cup oats

1 6oz container greek yogurt

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1/2 cup milk

additional toppings

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and separate into two jars. Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours. Top with additional milk and toppings of your choice.

*Makes two servings

Calories per serving: 300

 

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Alone Time: Shopping and Chipotle

9 Jun

Yesterday my brother was gone with his friends for the weekend, my parents left for the afternoon/evening to attend a wedding, and most of my friends in town were busy, so I was left all alone having hours by myself to do whatever I wanted. I took advantage of the opportunity and decided to make the best of it instead of feeling lonely. So, I first went out shopping at Target. I bought a few new clothing and accessory items.

Here are my buys from yesterday:

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Then I got dinner at Chipotle, but took it to go to bring home. Instead of ordering my burrito bowl with sour cream, cheese, and guacamole, I used the fat free sour cream we had at home and made my own guacamole since we had an avocado in our fridge that needed to be used before it went bad. I have to say, I have never made guac before, but last night the batch I made tasted so good!

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I set up in front of the TV with my burrito bowl and unsweetened lemon iced tea from the Keurig to start a Twilight marathon.

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I hadn’t seen the last two Twilight movies, so I decided it was a great time to watch them since the rest of my family doesn’t really care about Twilight. I also spent the evening thoroughly cleaning my room and bathroom and doing the dishes before my parents got home.

 

Happy Memorial Day Weekend

24 May

Hey there!

Unfortunately, with my bad luck, my computer got a virus and is currently near death until I can reinstall Windows, so for now I am writing this post on my phone.

Today was a mommy daughter day! We went for a walk in the rain this morning, got mani/pedis, and ran a couple errands together. It’s nice to spend free time with my mom because I look up to her for advice and things.

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I just wanted to say Happy Memorial Day weekend! I guess now its officially summer, my favorite season. Do y’all have any special plans? I don’t, other than I would like to cookout on our patio and have a fire in the fire-pit. Roasted marshmallows anyone? S’mores? Nothing says summer like this:

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Summer Vegetable Garden

22 May

I planted a vegetable garden. It’s not anything spectacular or labor intensive, just a few summer plants that tend to grow well without much upkeep. I have grown a garden in our back yard the past two summers and it worked out pretty well. This year I planted tomatoes, many varieties of peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers,  mint, parsley, and basil. The only thing I’m worried about is watching out for the resident bunny we have living in our backyard. He is so cute and comes out all the time to nibble on some clover or our pansies. Hopefully he won’t discover my new garden as his next feast! Smile

 

Before Planting…

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And After…

 

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My Favorite Freezer-Friendly Pancakes

20 May

Last breakfast recipe for now, I promise.

I am obsessed with this recipe from 100 Days of Real Food for Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes. I always add chocolate chips when I make them. They freeze really well and taste great reheated, so I usually make a big batch and store the extras in the freezer.

Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

recipe adapted from 100 Days of Real Food

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 100% pure maple syrup for serving

Directions:

1. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) together in a large mixing bowl.

2. Make a well in the center and add the honey, eggs, milk, and oil.

3. Mash the bananas and fold into the batter.

4. heat a pan or griddle to medium heat and cook pancakes.

5. Add chocolate chips to the batter while pancakes are cooking, if desired.

6. Serve with fresh banana slices and maple syrup.

7. Store the rest wrapped individually in parchment paper or aluminum foil and freeze.

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The mashed bananas are what make the pancakes naturally sweet and the more ripe, the better

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adding wet ingredients to dry

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mixed batter ready for the pan

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not the most beautifully round pancake, but it works

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Chocolaty!

 

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yummy

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Ready for the freezer!

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