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DIY Oat Cereal

This idea is pretty much life changing,  Cold oatmeal is probably one of my favorite breakfasts these days. Im sure it sounds a little strange but you’ll just have to hear me out on this one! I’ve been playing around with this recipe for years and I think I’ve finally got it down to a science

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw oats
  • 1/2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tbsp runny nut butter ( I find that it mixes better when its runny. If yours isn’t, i suggest microwaving it!!)
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • raisins, for topping
  • chopped nuts, for topping
  • 1/2 cup milk ( I use almond)

Directions:

  1. place oats, flaxseed, chia seed, stevia, protein powder, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to combine
  2. add in a few slashes of vanilla extract and stir.
  3. drizzle nut butter of choice over dry ingredients and mix until it forms a crumbly texture.
  4. top with sliced bananas, raisins, and nuts.
  5. pour milk over top and enjoy!!

SO GOOD. I promise. The longer it sits, the better it gets! What I like about this cereal is that it has a little bit of everything: carbs, fats, and protein,  which means it keeps you full for the morning! Feel free to switch up the toppings and make it your own! Like I said, this is one of my favorite breakfasts, and I hope it will top the list as one of yours!🙂

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Banana Egg Protein Pancakes

Sooooo yes, I’m aware that this isn’t a new concept. I decided I don’t care bc I think my little spin on these babies is a real winner. By now, you know I’m a firm believer that all foods fit into a healthy lifestyle. But while regular pancakes are good for your soul, these pancakes are a good way to fuel your body to take on the day!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 TBS vanilla protein powder (I use About Time!)
  • 1 tbsp whole grain pancake mix (like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 packet stevia

Directions:

  1. Mash banana with a fork
  2. add in egg white, protein powder, pancake mix, cinnamon, and stevia. Mix until well combined
  3. Coat skillet with cooking spray and turn it to medium high heat
  4. Pour the batter onto the skillet and cook until each side is done, about 2-3 minutes

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This is just the base recipe, but you can easily add in whatever you like! Blueberries, chocolate chips, the list goes on!

I topped mine with cinnamon, almond butter, and agave syrup, and paired it with a side of fresh fruit!

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Hope you’ll give this a try, i know you’ll love it. Because come on, you KNOW those look just like the real deal😉

Embrace Your Flaws.

To take a page out of the fabulous book of Tyra Banks: You + Your Flaws + Awesome = Flawsome.

I know flaws are “supposed” to be a bad thing. But since when was being curvy, or having pale skin, or gapped teeth a flaw?

Flaws set us apart from everyone else. They make you, you. If everyone looked the same, think about how boring that would be. What if, instead of trying to hide our flaws, what if we embraced them?

Yeah, it might be hard. We’ve been taught to cover up what is different about us. To dress for our shape, our skin tone, our height. To try to conform to one standard of beauty. Which, lets face it, is usually what we see on Instagram or Cosmo.

For example, I went through a phase where I refused to wear shorts, and forced myself to put on sweatpants everyday. In June. Why you may ask? Because I told myself that my legs were too big. They didn’t look like that girl in the magazine or at the gym. Therefore, deserved to be covered up. Want to know what I learned from that? Sweats are not for the summer unless you’re trying to have a heat stroke.

My point is, this principal applies to more than just legs. Replace that with whatever you think your flaw is. And I challenge you to embrace it. Walk into a room like you OWN it. Love yourself. And above all, be unapologetically you.

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Laguna Beach: Day 5

Last day of vacation! As I mentioned in my previous post, my parents and I were traveling up to Los Angeles to meet up with some family that lives there.

Before we headed out, my dad and I wanted to tackle those menacing steps–118 to be exact– that led up to our hotel. We did nine flights total, some running, some taking two steps at a time, and one set sideways. Whew my legs were dead! Such a great workout

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We showered up, and grabbed breakfast down by the dock again. This time at What A Dish Cafe. I saw that their veggie omelet was filled with goat cheese and I didnt give my order a second thought. The waitress also asked if i wanted avocado with that… duh.

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Dinner was at 6:30, but since LA traffic is insane, we left Laguna around 2 o’clock. The drive was… congested. And apparently this wasn’t even rush hour. No thanks. We arrived in Los Angeles a little after 4, parked our car, and started to walk around. We quickly realized that there wasn’t much to do downtown, so we got back in the car and took a ride into beverly hills, so i could see Rodeo Drive. I felt like a kid in a candy store shouting out all the names of the designers as we passed. By the time we fought the traffic back into the city, it was time to meet my cousins (yes, it took THAT long.)

We has reservations at Bottega Louie. It doubled as a bakery as well as a restaurant. They  had all different flavors of macarons in the window.. I couldn’t resist. We bought 5. The box was so cute, I actually decided to keep it! The chai macaron was my favorite🙂

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For dinner, my cousins ordered 2 salads, 2 different pizzas, fried calamari, and brussel sprouts for all of us to share. I didnt get too many pictures during dinner unfortunately, we were having a good time catching up! But I assure you, everything was delicious!

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Thankfully, the drive back wasn’t bad at all, but after that, I was exhausted! We hit the sack around 10pm, we had another long day in the morning.

We didnt have to check out until 10am. And can you believe we were all up by 6am? So my dad and I squeezed in an arm/ab circuit, then met my mom for breakfast at the hotel. I was in the mood for oatmeal again, keeping it simple

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Im so thankful for another great vacation in the books. I love being able to get away and spend some stress free time with my mom and dad. Cant wait to see where the next trip takes us🙂

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Laguna Beach: Day 4

My mom mentioned wanting to go kayaking while we were in California, so we made plans to give it a try Wednesday morning. The session was supposed to last around 2 hours, and started at 10am.

We left the hotel early so we could grab a quick breakfast beforehand, and see where the meeting spot was ( as you can imagine, Mom was a nervous wreck that we wouldn’t find it). We Ended up at Madison Square & Garden Cafe, which was actually right next to Urth Caffe, where we ate lunch the day before.

This place sold outdoor furniture and garden decorations, and they are all around the outdoor eating area, it really gave the restaurant an earthy feel. I hadn’t had oatmeal in a few days and I’m glad I ordered it here. It came with bananas, fresh berries, and warm milk

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When it was time to set out in our kayaks, there were about 7 of us, plus 2 instructors. I hoped into a boat with my dad, and my mom was paired wth the owner of the business. We all paddled out into the ocean, and I must admit, it was pretty awesome. And MAN, is that paddling work on the arms! We got about 20 minutes in, but my dad and I started to feel pretty sick. So we turned in early. Not much of an experience, I know. But It was fun while it lasted. My mom made it the whole 2 hours and said she had a blast. She took a bunch of pictures with an underwater camera, I can’t wait to see them when they’re developed!

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Dinner time rolled around, and my Dad and I picked Watermarc, a place we saw while we were waiting in line for gelato a couple nights before. We took a look at the menu, and one of the appetizers caught our eye. Homemade Ricotta cheese with macona almonds, honeycomb, and vine-dried raisins. Do you know that my family is STILL talking about this dish? My mom proclaimed this the best restaurant of the trip, even before she tasted her entree. Needless to say, when we got back to the hotel, my mom ordered all the necessities in order to recreate this at home IMG_7097

For the main course, I decided on the Chilean Seabass, it never disappoints. And it still holds true. My mom ordered the Fillet 3 ways, and Dad chose the paella (which was bigger than my face). I tasted each, and they were all fantastic. For dessert, I saw the word “bread pudding” and I was sold. We split the white chocolate bread pudding with macadamia nuts and pineapple ice cream… I basically licked the plate.

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In the end, this actually did rank as the best meal of the trip. It was a hard call to make, but overall, this one took the cake!

We turned in and got some sleep for our day on the road to LA in the morning!

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Laguna Beach: Day 3

I have the hardest time adjusting to the time change. I was up everyday before 6am and could not fall back to sleep. Of course, i wanted to get a workout in before the day started. I hit the hotel gym for a 30 minute treadmill HIIT run/walk, and then met my dad for an ab circuit.

For breakfast, we walked over to the harbor and ate at RJ’s cafe. Hands down the best coffee of the vacation. Plus, their mugs were adorable! I ordered 2 scrambled eggs, toast and fruit– nothing fancy

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My mom was determined to give hiking another try after she insisted that she ruined the first say for us (MOM, no you didnt!!) So we searched for other parks near the area and found Aliso Summit Trail. This was was definitely flatter than the trail the day before, but felt significantly longer. We walked about 2.5 miles before we turned back due to a rattlesnake coiled up right in the middle of the road! My mom and I are still convinced it was a rock.. oops.

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On the way back into town, we stopped for lunch at Urth Caffee. This place was a lot different for other restaurants I’ve been too. You wait in line outside until the hostess tells you to go inside and order, then your meal is brought to your table. I wanted a salad to a picked the Caravan Kale Salad with  Tuscan kale,  red quinoa, Persian cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, roasted yams, red onion, pita chips and fresh mint tossed in our pomegranate vinaigrette. Topped with ricotta salt cheese. One word: YUM.

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Of course, after a hot day filled with walking, we relaxed at the pool. I was reading and got hilarious tan lines from my kindle. I figured id have time to even them out!

Tonight was Taco Tuesday! I only wanted 2 thing: awesome Mexican food, and a margarita😉 The Coyote Grill it was!

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I ordered the veggie fajitas, I love fajitas because of how the vegetables come out screaming hot!IMG_7089      IMG_7132

That guac tho… perfect.

I hope you see a pattern developing here.. we took a walk down by the harbor, and climbed up to the top of a park on a cliff across from our hotel. Man was it high.

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We went back to the hotel and got ready for tomorrow mornings kayak session🙂

 

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Laguna Beach: Day 2

Monday morning, my dad and I woke up early and hit the gym! We did a 2 mile run along the harbor, followed by an arm workout courtesy of the CHAARG booty camp I’ve been doing this summer! Not kidding when i say we were sore for at least 3 days after this!

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Today was a hiking day! I was looking forward to it after last years experience.

Before we started, we grabbed breakfast at The Penguin Cafe. This place was exactly what comes to mind when you think “diner”, plus, it lived up to its name with all the penguin decorations! I ordered the veggie egg white omelet, wheat toast, and fruit. Cant go wrong with that.

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When we finished, we drove to Laguna Wilderness Park and got right to it. We started walking and realized that this trail was no joke! I may be exaggerating a little but in my memory, this path was basically vertical! Dont get me wrong, it made for an awesome view, but man, was it tough to climb! After awhile, we decided just to turn around (no mom, it wasn’t your fault!!) and go back down. My mom wanted to wait in the car while me and my dad hiked one more trail. This one was had more ups and downs and  significantly more shade. So pretty🙂

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As per vacation fashion, we came back and hit the pool for a little before getting ready for dinner.  This night, we chose to eat at The Cliffs. We heard that the view was incredible, especially when you’re eating outside. It sat right over the ocean.

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For an appetizer, we got an order of hummus and veggies– one of my favorites IMG_7063

For my meal, I ordered the prime pork chop with a porcini glaze. The porcini mushrooms sold me. I can’t believe I’ve never had that before. Delicious. And just look at that presentation.

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After dinner, we took a walk down by the beach, and through town. There were so many people and little shops and restaurants, i loved the feel. My dad spotted a line to a gelato shop that was literally out of the door and we knew it had to be good (Spoiler alert– it was. Espresso flavored anything is the bomb).

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As it got dark, we drove back to the hotel and sat on the patio for a while before heading up to bed. Day 2 down, 3 more to go!