Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Two Words

It is not going to take very many words for anyone
to know exactly what this post is going to be about.
In fact, it will only take two:

Miley Cyrus.

That's it.

In two words, all the gossip on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
about Miley's recent "adventures" race through your mind.

Her recent VMA adventure is burned into my brain from
all the pictures on Facebook I have seen of her.
I won't go into details on the photos, but,
 in short, they are vulgar, disturbing, and disappointing.
(And you have probably already seen them.)

I just wonder, why?
Why does she feel she has to do such raunchy things to get attention?
If it's attention she wants, she's definitely getting it,
but is it the kind of attention she really wants?

I don't know the answer. I'm just thinking out loud.

And I can't help but think about the kind of celebrities Kaiya will
see as she grows up in a media-saturated world.

I hope her role models are not the women she sees in
movies, magazines, television shows, etc.
who try to sell the message that to be happy you must
dress, behave, and look a certain way.

I hope her role models are women who show respect for themselves
and for others by treating their bodies as gifts from God, and not
objects of "pleasure".

Is there really any true happiness from treating bodies as objects?
I can't imagine there is.

Because people are so much more than their bodies.

Miley is more than her body.
I just hope she realizes that soon.

Mostly for her sake,
but also for the sake of those who miss the "Hannah Montana" Miley.

Let me know what your thoughts are. 
Why do you think she has made such a drastic change?
Is it Miley's (or any celebrity for that matter) responsibility to be a good role model?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Blog Under Construction

Okay, so my blog is going to be under construction for the
next couple of days!

I'm trying to customize it to make it look exactly how I want it to look.
So, if things look a little strange around here, that's why.

Hopefully, when I am done it will look much better! :)

Wish me luck!


Banana Nut Muffin Pancakes + Streusel

Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day,
and sometimes my favorite part of the day as well
(because I get a little time to myself).

One of my favorite breakfasts is pancakes!
I love, love, LOVE pancakes.
They are so versatile.

Really, you can create so many combinations of
fruits, nuts, sweeteners, spices, etc.
and make a delicious batch of pancakes.

They are quick, easy, delicious.
My kind of breakfast.

Plus, you can make the batter the night before 
and then cook them up real quick in the morning.

Anyways, the recipe I am going to share with you is
one I found recently from Minimalist Baker.

I love her recipes because they are delicious and healthy,
which is definitely my thing. 
Seriously, I went through ALL of her recipes (and pinned them) because
they all looked so good and they were all healthy.

This recipe was no exception to that delicious and healthy
thing she has going. 

Plus, it uses bananas!

It seems that lately I have been incorporating bananas
into a lot of the pancakes I make, and I love
using bananas because they add a natural sweetness so I
only have to add a little extra sweetener
(or I don't need any extra, processed sweetener at all!) 
AND it makes them nice and moist!
(One more "and"...)
AND I love the flavor.

Okay, I'm done now.

Here is my spin on her recipe for Banana Nut Muffin Pancakes.
(Really, it tastes as good as it sounds! Trust me.)

Banana Nut Muffin Pancakes
Time: 25 minutes         Servings: 2

You'll Need:

  • 1 medium, very ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp. flax meal + 2 Tbsp. water) - you can also use a regular egg
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted - you could also use applesauce 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%) 
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur's)
  • agave nectar or maple syrup for topping
  • walnuts for topping (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. almond flour (just raw almonds ground up in a food processor until a fine powder) - you could use any kind of regular flour, but I love using almond flour because it adds a wonderful crunch to the streusel)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 scant Tbsp. coconut oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare the streusel by combining the almond flour, brown sugar and coconut oil. I like to use my hands to combine everything. Pour the streusel mixture onto a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 5-6 minutes, until the streusel has turned a golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Preheat an electric griddle or stovetop skillet to a medium heat (about 350 degrees F). You don't want it to be too hot or the outside of the pancakes will cook too quickly, leaving the middle of the pancakes mushy.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the mashed banana, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flax meal and water (or regular egg). Let set for a couple minutes.
  4. Stir in the the melted coconut oil (or applesauce) and the milk.
  5. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Add more flour if the mixture is too runny or more milk if it is too thick.
  6. Let the batter set for about 5 minutes.
  7. Pour scant 1/4 cup of batter onto lightly greased griddle or skillet and sprinkle a bit of streusel on the top. Let it cook until bubbles appear in middle of pancakes and the edges are dry.
  8. Flip pancakes and let cook on other side for a couple minutes.
  9. Serve with extra streusel and walnuts sprinkled on top and a drizzle of agave or syrup. You could also top with some banana slices.
You have got to try these pancakes! 
Seriously, they are SO good, SO healthy and SO filling. 

Make them tomorrow! 
You won't be sorry. ;)

What are some of your favorite pancake recipes?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Day with the Ducks

The other day, Kaiya was SUPER grouchy.
Not just a little bit.
She was the kind of grouchy where if I wasn't holding her 
every second
of every minute
of every hour,
she was screaming!

I don't know if this is just a phase where she is super clingy,
but it was very clear that I needed to spend some quality time with her.
Just Kaiya and mommy time.

No homework,
no cleaning,
no bathroom breaks (haha, seriously).

Just some one-on-one time where Kaiya was the center of attention.
So, we went on a little walk.

As soon as we were outside, Kaiya was as happy as can be!
Thank goodness...
It's amazing what some fresh air and sunshine will do for the nerves.

Haha, caught a sneeze!
She has the cutest sneezes.
(I wonder if my face would look that adorable during a sneeze
if it was captured in a photo...probably not.)

Feed the ducks mommy!

The ducks were surrounding us!
And I couldn't tell if they were more interested in 
the Cheerios we were feeding them, or Kaiya's little piggy toes.
I was about ready to chase them off if they nipped at her toes!
But they didn't. 

This is what happens when I let Kaiya out of the stroller...


She runs after the ducks saying, "Duh...duh!" (Translation: Duck...duck!)

The duck pond.
Sigh. I love this place.
So relaxing.

And I love this little ducky the most.
(Can you tell I'm exhausted?!)

At least Kaiya is happy. That's really all that matters. :)

A Smiley Baby and some Tasty Spaghetti

So, everyone likes to brag about their baby(ies), right?
It's true!
And that is exactly what I am going to do right now,
because I can't help but brag about Kaiya's sweet smile!

And the fact that she seems to know that I'm taking pictures of her!

Really! As soon as she sees me pointing a camera at her, 
she stops whatever she's doing and smiles at the camera. 
Where did she learn how to do that?! :D

I don't know where she learned to smile at cameras, but I'm sure glad she does it!
Here's little Miss Kaiya enjoying some of the spaghetti I am about to share the recipe for!

I love pasta.
It is so versatile that you can add all sorts of different
sauces, veggies, and toppings!
Plus, it only takes a few minutes to cook, which is a lifesaver on days when I 
am too busy to cook an elaborate meal (which is like every day).

So, this recipe for Whole Wheat Pasta with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes was perfect!
I found the original recipe on Two Peas and their Pod and I
decided to try it!
I only made a few very minor modifications.
Here's the recipe:

Whole Wheat Pasta with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Time: 20 minutes       Servings: 4

You'll Need:
  • 1/2 13.25oz. pkg. whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • 1 Tbsp. oil (from sun-dried tomato jar)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (the kind packed in oil), chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • feta or parmesan cheese, for topping (optional, but not really)
  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot and cook the spaghetti noodles according to package instructions.
  2. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the sun-dried tomato oil in large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add the spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar. Cook until spinach is slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. 
  4. Add garlic and mix throughout spinach-tomato mixture. Remove from heat.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Spoon spinach-tomato mixture over spaghetti and sprinkle feta or parmesan cheese over the top.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy! 
**Note: The flavors in this dish are strong (but delicious) so if you prefer a less strong flavor, use fewer sun-dried tomatoes and/or less balsamic vinegar.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Kaiya's 1st Birthday: According to My Camera

 So, I just realized that I took some pictures of Kaiya's 1st Birthday festivities!
And I wanted to share them with you.
Because who can resist looking at tons of pictures of an adorable baby, right?

And I realize that I'm kind of putting these pictures up one day before Kaiya turns 13 months old.
You know, just a little past her birthday but...oh well.

The festivities surrounding Kaiya's birthday included (but was not limited to)...

1. A walk with Aunt Haley!

2. Lots of "selfies"...okay, okay, I took those (but it kind of looks like she did!)

3. Opening presents.

4. Wearing the cute birthday outfit from Oma and Opa.

5. Opening another adorable outfit from Mimi and Papa.

Oh my gosh! I love tutus! And look at that adorable headband!

6. Hanging out with Mimi (so mommy and daddy could go on a group date!)

Well, this has nothing to do with Kaiya's birthday, but these pictures are from our group date!

We went to the nickel arcade with with Joshua's family,

And pooled our tickets together to get

I think we look rather dashing. Don't you?
I think I'll stay clean-shaven though. ;)

Anyways...back to Kaiya's big day!

She looked WAY TOO CUTE!

Unfortunately, it was nap time, so she was a little out of it.
Poor baby.

She loved opening all these presents from everyone! 

We enjoyed some delicious "brownie cookies" and homemade cupcakes.
(Thanks to my sweet friends who were willing to make them!)

Can anyone spot the can of peas? Haha.

Kaiya's Healthy Birthday Cake! It was delicious.
Tasted kind of like banana bread.

Kaiya loved chomping into this cake!
She was hesitant at first, but was quite content with eating the cake with a fork.

Luckily she did eventually smash up her cake with her hands!
(Did I mention the cake got everywhere?! In the diaper and everything.
How it got there will remain a mystery...)

Love this girl!

See more adorable pictures from Kaiya's birthday here.

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